Sunday, May 5th 2019

Samsung Kills Production of Famed B-die DDR4 Memory in Favor or Higher Densities

As the world becomes more and more centered on data, as well as its processing and storage, increased memory density across products is becoming more of a necessity. It seems that out of this necessity and a need to streamline its memory production towards favoring denser outputs, Samsung is killing of the famous B-die chips, which were - and still are - part of a love affair with any enthusiast's Ryzen desktop.

Memory compatibility issues with the first gen Ryzen took a while to dissipate, and didn't vanish entirely; however, overclockers quickly found that the most stable and overclockable memory ICs all were of the Samsung B-die type. Now, the company has updated its product catalogue to reflect EOL (End of Life) status for B-dies, replacing it with denser M-Die and A-Die products. M-dies were supposed to bring 32 GB densities to a single rank of memory - and have apparently been siphoned off to server applications and left out in the cold for consumer purchase), while the new A dies increase memory density per IC, meaning less of these are necessary to achieve the same final memory footprint. Whether or not these will feature the same Ryzen compatibility and overclockability as their B-die predecessors is unknown at this point, but it would make a lot of enthusiasts slightly unhappy - and increase the value of B-die offerings in any sort of discerning second-hand market - if they did not.
Sources: Tom's Hardware, Samsung Product Catalog
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30 Comments on Samsung Kills Production of Famed B-die DDR4 Memory in Favor or Higher Densities

#1
Mamya3084
Does that mean we can buy all the b-die memory and create an actual shortage?
Posted on Reply
#2
IceShroom
Mamya3084, post: 4042330, member: 186201"
Does that mean we can buy all the b-die memory and create an actual shortage?
Yep. Shortage on B-die.
Posted on Reply
#3
eidairaman1
The Exiled Airman
IceShroom, post: 4042336, member: 175457"
Yep. Shortage on B-die.
Hopefully Samsung will receive constructive criticism and engineer A Dies for performance since M dies are data oriented anyway.
Posted on Reply
#5
lynx29
Vycyous, post: 4042351, member: 181261"
Maybe I'm mistaken, but I believe they've only ended production of 20 nm B-die and have started production of 10 nm B-die. I hope I'm not wrong.

https://www.samsung.com/semiconductor/dram/ddr4/

Shown below are the most relevant 1G x 8 configurations.


I don't see how this chart helps with anything, the timings are the key thing. Samsung might be shoving out 3200 ram all day long, faster and cheaper but at cas 16 latency or cas 15. Maybe B-Die just required to many of their resources.
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#6
Vycyous
lynx29, post: 4042360, member: 153071"
I don't see how this chart helps with anything, the timings are the key thing. Samsung might be shoving out 3200 ram all day long, faster and cheaper but at cas 16 latency or cas 15. Maybe B-Die just required to many of their resources.
The chart was simply to show mass production of what I believe is the new 10 nm B-die while simultaneously showing the end-of-life (EOL) designation of 20 nm B-die. Do you think Samsung was shipping B-die rated at, for example, DDR4-3200 CL14 or DDR4-3600 CL15 or DDR4-4400 CL17 or DDR4-4800 CL18? No, they weren't and aren't.

Seemingly the most prevalent B-die is part number K4A8G085WB-BCPB which happens to be the "worst" 8Gb (1GB x 8 - single-rank) B-die rated at just DDR4-2133 CL15, simply JEDEC spec. Even the "better" stuff was rated for just DDR4-2666 CL19 - not exactly breaking records. Have a look at the datasheet. It's companies like G.Skill and Corsair that screen the ICs, manufacture the PCB, and sell memory kits with SPD profiles that increase the speed and tighten the timings beyond JEDEC spec.

The assumption is that the new 10 nm B-die will scale as well, if not better, with voltage as the 20 nm B-die, which means we may see higher speeds and tighter timings when overclocking. I'm wondering if some of the 10 nm ICs have already hit the market in memory kits such as both G.Skill's and Corsair's DDR4-4800 CL18 memory kits, with ultra low calculated latency of just 7.5 nanoseconds at 1.5V, making it the fastest that I know of.
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#7
dj-electric
Chasing high binned B-dies was not only Ryzen users' hobby, but also latest Intel platforms'. 4133Mhz+ capable chips were mostly these.
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#8
kastriot
When samsung will kill overpriced ddr4?
Posted on Reply
#9
R0H1T
Vycyous, post: 4042367, member: 181261"
The assumption is that the new 10 nm B-die will scale as well, if not better, with voltage as the 20 nm B-die
That's not going to happen, with 20nm the memory could be OCed further & withstood higher voltages. As with CPU die shrinks the DRAM also can't withstand higher voltages, having said that Samsung is making 10nm class DRAM for years now so they can easily get higher speed memory to the market. At the same time they won't nearly be as OCing friendly as 20nm variants, though it shouldn't matter so much anyway.
Posted on Reply
#10
dj-electric
kastriot, post: 4042383, member: 165334"
When samsung will kill overpriced ddr4?
Whats with the tradition of completely out of touch comments? DDR4 hit an alltime low with 3000mhz 16GB sticks hitting 72$
Posted on Reply
#11
RH92
Zen 2 is supposed to be less sensitive to memory anyway so yeah i don't think this is a big issue even if they totally stop B-Die production . On top of that overpriced 4000Mhz and up kits make not much sense considering much faster DDR5 is coming up next year .
Posted on Reply
#12
Chomiq
dj-electric, post: 4042395, member: 87186"
Whats with the tradition of completely out of touch comments? DDR4 hit an alltime low with 3000mhz 16GB sticks hitting 72$
And cheapest B-Die still costs nearly twice as much.
Posted on Reply
#13
dj-electric
Chomiq, post: 4042436, member: 185703"
And cheapest B-Die still costs nearly twice as much.
Also false. 2X8GB B-die Viper Steels \ Viper 4 are pretty cheap and can be found on amazon
Posted on Reply
#14
Imsochobo
I've had no issues with various memory on Ryzen, b die in my opinion is only marginally better at this point.
It was a huge difference but more and more kits come around now that so well
I have some hynix 16gb dimms at 3466 cl15..
3200 cl16 rated g. Skill sniperx
Posted on Reply
#15
RH92
dj-electric, post: 4042442, member: 87186"
Also false. 2X8GB B-die Viper Steels \ Viper 4 are pretty cheap and can be found on amazon
In US maybe but in EU they are not cheap at all !
Posted on Reply
#16
Manu_PT
Imsochobo, post: 4042446, member: 66457"
I've had no issues with various memory on Ryzen, b die in my opinion is only marginally better at this point.
It was a huge difference but more and more kits come around now that so well
I have some hynix 16gb dimms at 3466 cl15..
3200 cl16 rated g. Skill sniperx
That´s nothing impressive. Pretty standard for Hynix. Tell me when you can do 4000mhz CL17 with those or 3600mhz CL14.

Ofc someone will say that "you don´t notice any difference past <insert Ram speed here>". Wich is wrong as we know.
Posted on Reply
#17
NdMk2o1o
Manu_PT, post: 4042509, member: 168799"
That´s nothing impressive. Pretty standard for Hynix. Tell me when you can do 4000mhz CL17 with those or 3600mhz CL14.

Ofc someone will say that "you don´t notice any difference past <insert Ram speed here>". Wich is wrong as we know.
Who said it was meant to be impressive, everyone knows your agenda, go beat your drum somewhere else.
Posted on Reply
#19
yakk
Time to round up this generation rigs to 32 & 64 GB I guess.
Posted on Reply
#20
lynx29
yakk, post: 4042580, member: 158293"
Time to round up this generation rigs to 32 & 64 GB I guess.
What do you mean exactly? No games even use 16gb total yet, except for a couple outliers.
Posted on Reply
#21
Valkrys
Vycyous, post: 4042367, member: 181261"
The chart was simply to show mass production of what I believe is the new 10 nm B-die while simultaneously showing the end-of-life (EOL) designation of 20 nm B-die. Do you think Samsung was shipping B-die rated at, for example, DDR4-3200 CL14 or DDR4-3600 CL15 or DDR4-4400 CL17 or DDR4-4800 CL18? No, they weren't and aren't.

Seemingly the most prevalent B-die is part number K4A8G085WB-BCPB which happens to be the "worst" 8Gb (1GB x 8 - single-rank) B-die rated at just DDR4-2133 CL15, simply JEDEC spec. Even the "better" stuff was rated for just DDR4-2666 CL19 - not exactly breaking records. Have a look at the datasheet. It's companies like G.Skill and Corsair that screen the ICs, manufacture the PCB, and sell memory kits with SPD profiles that increase the speed and tighten the timings beyond JEDEC spec.

The assumption is that the new 10 nm B-die will scale as well, if not better, with voltage as the 20 nm B-die, which means we may see higher speeds and tighter timings when overclocking. I'm wondering if some of the 10 nm ICs have already hit the market in memory kits such as both G.Skill's and Corsair's DDR4-4800 CL18 memory kits, with ultra low calculated latency of just 7.5 nanoseconds at 1.5V, making it the fastest that I know of.
All memory manufacturers set their bins at jedec specifications. It's the companies producing the physical dimms that further bin the Ic's for XMP settings. Most of the 3200 cl14 parts don't even use 3200 rated b-die.
Posted on Reply
#22
yakk
lynx29, post: 4042640, member: 153071"
What do you mean exactly? No games even use 16gb total yet, except for a couple outliers.
Probably gaming also, in a VM anyway. Need enough ram to run a few VMs comfortably.
Matching cl14 b-die sticks & timings later could become a nightmare once the supply channel dries up.
Posted on Reply
#23
trparky
Is there really a difference between CAS14 and CAS16? Why I ask is that you can get DDR4-3200 RAM at a pretty decent price these days but they're all CAS16 modules, if you want CAS14 modules be prepared to pay through the nose for it. So I figure that Samsung is discontinuing the B-Die modules because most people aren't willing to pay the CAS14 price premium when you can get CAS16 stuff all day long at half the cost.
Posted on Reply
#24
Ubersonic
kastriot, post: 4042383, member: 165334"
When samsung will kill overpriced ddr4?
Not anytime soon from the looks of it. DDR4 prices are only just getting back down to what they were at the start of 2017 and DDR3 prices are still double what they were before the price fixing started :(
Posted on Reply
#25
yakk
trparky, post: 4042700, member: 170376"
Is there really a difference between CAS14 and CAS16? Why I ask is that you can get DDR4-3200 RAM at a pretty decent price these days but they're all CAS16 modules, if you want CAS14 modules be prepared to pay through the nose for it. So I figure that Samsung is discontinuing the B-Die modules because most people aren't willing to pay the CAS14 price premium when you can get CAS16 stuff all day long at half the cost.
A lot of people won't notice a timing difference in general use, doesn't mean there isn't one. People who would benefit from b-die tight timings might know their needs a little more. It's like any choice of components.

A bit like nand memory; SLC, MLC, TLC, QLC. For the average user QLC is now probably good enough, but there are other good reasons to use the more expensive and robust types of nand.
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