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Samsung Introduces Industry's First Open-Source Software Solution for CXL Memory

Published: Oct 08,2021

Samsung Electronics introduced the first open-source software solution, the Scalable Memory Development Kit (SMDK), that has been specially designed to support the Compute Express Link (CXL) memory platform.

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In May, Samsung unveiled the industry’s first CXL memory expander that allows memory capacity and bandwidth to scale to levels far exceeding what is possible in today’s server systems. Now, the company’s CXL platform is being extended beyond hardware to offer easy-to-integrate software tools, making CXL memory much more accessible to data center system developers for emerging artificial intelligence (AI), machine learning (ML) and 5G-edge markets.

The CXL interconnect is an open, industry-backed standard that enables different types of devices such as accelerators, memory expanders and smart I/O devices to work more efficiently when processing high-performance computational workloads.

"In order for data center and enterprise systems to smoothly run next-generation memory solutions like CXL, development of corresponding software is a necessity," said Cheolmin Park, vice president of the Memory Product Planning Team at Samsung Electronics. "Today, Samsung is reinforcing its commitment toward delivering a total memory solution that encompasses hardware and software, so that IT OEMs can incorporate new technologies into their systems much more effectively."

Samsung’s SMDK enables the main memory and the CXL memory expander to work together seamlessly in heterogeneous memory systems. The extensive software kit consists of libraries — sets of pre-built, reusable codes — and application programming interfaces (APIs) — the connections to access these software codes. Using the SMDK, system developers can easily incorporate CXL memory into advanced IT systems without having to modify existing application environments, or alternatively use it to optimize application software settings to suit special system needs.

Industry’s first software-defined memory management

The new SMDK also supports memory virtualization, allowing system designers to efficiently manage an expanded memory pool in shared memory architectures. Leveraging a proprietary Intelligent Tiering Engine, the SMDK can identify and configure the memory type, capacity and bandwidth that are most appropriate for each use case.

Samsung’s SMDK is now available on a limited basis for initial testing and optimization and will be open-sourced within the first half of next year. Samsung will continue to enhance its open-source SMDK as it closely collaborates with industry leaders in expanding adoption of the CXL memory platform for broad use in AI, edge and cloud applications.

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