Upcoming AMD SP5 socket supports up to 12TB of memory

The upcoming SP5 socket for the AMD EPYC Genoa processors has just been leaked, showing the board in its full glory, complete with 12-channel DDR5 support and 128 PCIe Gen 5.0 lanes.

This means that the motherboard will support a whopping 12TB of system memory in addition to a hugely powerful data center processor.

AMD SP5 socket shown.

Although AMD EPYC Genoa has yet to be released, it is on track to launch this year, and according to AMD, the first samples of the CPU have already been sent to customers. That explains how a photo of the matching new SP5 socket motherboard was leaked by a ServerTheHome (STH) forum member.

The new socket heralds the next generation of AMD EPYC processors, including both Genoa (to be released in 2022) and Bergamo (2023). Looking at the board in its full glory shows the staggering amounts of power a computer of that size will require in 2022 and beyond.

The SP5 socket pictured comes with 6,096 land grid array (LGA) contact pads, a huge upgrade over the current-generation SP3 with only 4,094 contacts. What we see in the photo is actually a dual 2P platform with two SP5 sockets, which amounts to a total of 24 dual in-line memory module (DIMM) slots.

In total, a single card supports 12-channel DDR5 memory. This means that the upcoming AMD Genoa can be combined with up to 12 TB of memory on just one motherboard. To call that an impressive number would be an understatement, and from here on the numbers only get bigger.

AMD EPYC Zen 4 Genoa Processors.
Image source: VideoCardz VideoCardz

Increasing the number of memory channels is a significant upgrade for AMD EPYC, which previously supported up to eight memory channels and now gets four more. Of course, the previous SP3 socket only supported DDR4 memory – this meant that the capacity was a maximum of 4 TB per chip. With the move to DDR5 memory offered by SP5, that will increase to 12TB. However, as Wccftech points out, 3D stacked DIMMs will have to be used to achieve this kind of capability.

AMD EPYC Genoa will be the first AMD data center processor to support DDR5 memory and PCIe Gen 5.0. The chip will contain 96 cores and 192 threads and will be made based on TSMC’s 5nm technology. The chip itself has been leaked before and is huge, as you would expect from a processor of this power.

The maximum socket TDP is estimated at 700 watts. Returning to RAM, Genoa will not only support a lot, but it will also be fast: the SP5 socket allows the use of DDR5-5200 memory. While Genoa is already impressive, its successor, Bergamo, will take the numbers even higher, maxing out at 128 cores while still using the same SP5 socket.

No official release dates have been announced yet, but we do know that AMD EPYC Genoa would launch this year. Sapphire Rapids Xeon, Intel’s counterpart to the AMD Genoa, will also be released in 2022 with DDR5 and PCIe Gen 5.0 support.

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