The CAMM standard is set to replace SO-DIMM for laptop memory

Something to look forward to: CAMM is one step toward replacing the long-standing SO-DIMM memory module standard in notebook computers. JEDEC, the trade organization and standardization body that oversees memory standards for the computer industry, is in the process of adopting the CAMM general specification for laptops according to panel member Tom Schnell.

CAMM, which stands for Pressure Attached Memory Module, was created by Schnell and introduced by Dell last year in the Precision 7670 mobile workstation. Schnell, who is also Dell’s chief distinguished engineer, said Computer scientist JEDEC has unanimously approved Specification 0.5 and is about to finalize Specification 1.0 by the second half of this year.

Schnell could not disclose which JEDEC member companies voted on the standard because that is up to each member to disclose, but the voting pool covers a range of players with multiple interests. Surprisingly, everyone voted unanimously for the specification, with no opposition. As of this writing, there are more than 350 member companies participating in JEDEC but only a handful of the 20 or so companies were among the voting group that agreed to Spec 0.5.

SO-DIMM is not long for this world, and CAMM looks forward to being a way forward. Dell design drop The physical space between the memory and the CPU was much thinner, too. The final specification will not be a carbon copy of Dell’s design but will be based on it as companies work out the final details.

Some initially worried that Dell would keep the technology to itself and force customers who wanted to upgrade down the road to go straight through them and pay high fees (or worse, the technology would be abandoned with no upgrade path at all). Dell and Schnell were quick to point out that CAMM is not a proprietary specification that would lock customers into a design.

“Dell is a huge company, and we don’t keep the lights on because we get royalties on a patent,” Schnell said. “We basically want to recoup the cost of inventing and implementing it.”

If all goes according to plan, CAMM-based systems could arrive as early as 2024.

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