September 23, 2023
SODIMM chips beside a CAMM memory module

SODIMMs (Small Define Twin In-line Reminiscence Modules) are the very first thing that involves thoughts once you discuss laptop computer RAM. These smaller variations of desktop RAM enable producers to pack extra reminiscence right into a smaller house, permitting laptops to have the identical RAM capacities as their desktop counterparts with out sacrificing weight or portability.

Nevertheless, SODIMM RAM is now over 25 years previous, making it a comparatively previous know-how. Additionally, current developments are approaching SODIMM’s limits. That is the place CAMM comes into play. However what precisely is CAMM and the way is CAMM totally different from SODIMM?

What’s CAMM?

CAMM stands for Compression Connected Reminiscence Module, a RAM design created by Dell in partnership with the Joint Electron Machine Engineering Council (JEDEC) that develops open requirements for the microelectronics trade.

Whereas Dell owns the patents, the corporate is working with JEDEC to show CAMM into an open normal for laptops sooner or later. Nevertheless, Dell hopes that different laptop computer producers will undertake the CAMM design within the close to future.

However why would they do this?

Benefits of CAMM over SODIMM Reminiscence


32GB CAMM module
Picture Credit score: PC World /YouTube

Though CAMM might look totally different from SODIMM sticks, they’re principally the identical electronically. But when that is the case, why would laptop computer producers use it as a substitute of the usual SODIMM we have been utilizing for many years?

CAMM Can Be Positioned Nearer to the Processor

Definition DDR5 saw RAM speeds reach 6,440 MT/s, with speeds projected to extend to eight,400 MT/s after additional improvement. As processor and RAM speeds enhance, latency will quickly turn into a problem.

It’s because laptop computer producers want to think about the gap information travels between RAM and CPU. Whereas the time it takes for the info sign to journey the brief seven centimeters is just too small for the human thoughts, it’s a big hole for digital units, particularly as processors and RAM speeds enhance.

That is why some producers want to put in. System-on-Chip (SoC) in units relatively than particular person elements. By making information journey much less distance from totally different chips of their computer systems, they’ll present higher efficiency and stability. Nevertheless, this makes units just like the M2 Apple MacBook Air troublesome to restore and almost inconceivable to improve.


Apple M1 Ultra chipset
Picture Credit score: Apple

For those who take a look at the SODIMM sticks on a laptop computer motherboard, you may see that they’re positioned fairly removed from the processor. It’s because the slots holding particular person RAM sticks are usually additional away from the CPU than SODIMM chips. So you might say producers ought to reverse SODIMM slots, however it’s not so simple as it sounds.

It’s because the cables from the CPU to the RAM slot have to be precisely equal. This ensures that the alerts between RAM and CPU all arrive on the identical time. For those who rotate the SODIMM sockets nearer to the processor, you shouldn’t have sufficient room to accommodate all of the copper traces wanted to take care of this equal distance.


Nevertheless, CAMM eliminates the necessity for 2 RAM slots. CAMM sticks have a capability of 128GB or extra, so that you solely want one for many units. This enables producers to put the CAMM slot as near the CPU as potential.

CAMM Is Thinner Than SODIMM

One other benefit of CAMM over SODIMM is that it’s bodily thinner. Whereas the previous is bigger, laptops usually have motherboard house to accommodate the shape issue. That is very true as a result of you may solely scale back the keyboard dimension up to a degree earlier than it turns into inconvenient to make use of.

However producers are nonetheless attempting to make their laptops as skinny as potential. CAMM is 57% thinner than SODIMM rods, making it the right case for transition. The discount in Z-height can present higher airflow by way of the laptop computer’s chassis, making cooling simpler.

Additionally, as DDR5 speeds enhance and a few enterprising customers overclock reminiscence sticks, there might come a time when RAM would require some type of cooling. CAMM’s thinner profile may enable producers to run warmth pipes over it with out sacrificing the thickness of their laptops.

Even when producers do not use the saved house for cooling, they’ll nonetheless use it for different elements reminiscent of M.2 NVMe SSD sticks or WLAN modules.

CAMM Simply Scalable and Electronically Similar as SODIMM

One other benefit that CAMM has is that producers can simply improve it. Resulting from its giant footprint, it isn’t troublesome to cram additional RAM chips in a single CAMM and even convert it to a CAMM. ECC RAM.

ram bar on a black background

You too can make single-channel, dual-channel, and even quad-channel CAMMs on the identical structure, which suggests you need not make totally different costly designs to fulfill totally different worth and efficiency targets.

CAMM will not be rather more costly than SODIMM rods. CAMM is a couple of greenback dearer per GB than SODIMM. Nevertheless, provided that it has not but achieved economies of scale, you may anticipate its worth to drop, assuming widespread adoption.

Better of all, CAMM is electronically equivalent to SODIMM. Because of this CPU producers shouldn’t have to make drastic modifications to their structure to accommodate this new RAM design. And whereas laptop computer producers might want to refresh their motherboard layouts to accommodate CAMM chips, at the very least they will not should make drastic modifications to chipsets and different computing {hardware}.

Which Laptops Assist CAMM?

As of 2023, solely two laptop computer fashions help CAMM: Dell Precision 7670 and 7770 Workstations. These desktop backups are designed for enterprise and enterprise use, costing over $3,300 and $4,100 respectively.

Dell launched CAMM in enterprise machines for the primary time. As companies usually buy these computer systems in bulk, Dell will hope for fast CAMM adoption. Nevertheless, other than these two fashions, no different laptops presently help CAMM.

Is CAMM the Way forward for Laptop computer RAM?

Whereas CAMM has vital benefits over SODIMM, it nonetheless has to beat some hurdles. For instance, Dell and JEDEC have but to publish a closing normal that each one producers should adhere to. Additionally, it’s expensive for producers to modify to a brand new RAM design as a result of it would require heavy investments in machine instruments, design processes and labor prices.

Nonetheless, if Dell can reap the benefits of CAMM and make its laptops extra engaging (and reasonably priced) to patrons, you may anticipate different producers to do the identical.


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *