Its been 2 years since we’ve stepped into the DDR5 era but powerful laptops where its for gaming or 3D animation, video editing, game development, or VR simulation projects, are all still limited to DDR5-5000+. Its all had to do with the limitation of the interconnect for DDR5 to the CPU. Recently we’ve seen solution from laptop makers to address this and in this article we’ll talk about ASUS’ solution to increase DDR5. You might be interested in ASUS’ latest innovation: the Supernova System-on-Module (SoM) design. This is a new approach to laptop design that reduces the core motherboard area by 38%, allowing for greater performance and better cooling. In this article, we will explain how the Supernova SoM module works, why it was designed, and what benefits it offers for the future of creative computing.
What is the Supernova SoM module?
The Supernova SoM module is a compact circuit board that contains the CPU cores, communication interfaces, and memory blocks of an embedded processing system. It was developed by ASUS in partnership with Intel and Micron, using Intel’s 13th Gen Core i9-13905H processor and Micron’s LPDDR5X DRAM. The module is integrated into ASUS’ 2023 Zenbook Pro 16X OLED laptop, which also features an NVIDIA GeForce RTX 4080 Laptop GPU with NVIDIA Studio drivers.
How does the Supernova SoM module work?
The Supernova SoM module works by reducing the distance between the CPU and the memory chips, which enables faster data access and lower power consumption. The module uses LPDDR5X DRAM, which runs at a frequency of 7500 MHz, much higher than the previous LPDDR5. This means that the memory bandwidth is increased by up to 50%, which improves performance for memory-intensive applications like 3D rendering and video editing.
The module also reduces the core area of the motherboard by 38%, which frees up more space for cooling components and GPU power components. The laptop uses a liquid metal thermal compound that lowers the CPU temperature by up to 7°C in high-performance mode. It also uses a wide-coverage 3D curved vapor chamber that efficiently dissipates heat from the CPU and nearby circuitry. Moreover, it employs an Active Aerodynamic System (AAS) Ultra mechanism that lifts up the rear of the keyboard by up to 14.5mm when opening the lid. This creates more airflow through wide vents that improve cooling by 30%.
Why was the Supernova SoM module designed?
The Supernova SoM module was designed to address some of the challenges faced by creative professionals who need high-performance laptops for their workflows. These challenges include:
- Limited performance due to thermal throttling: When laptops run at high temperatures for prolonged periods of time, they tend to reduce their clock speeds to prevent overheating. This can affect performance and productivity.
- Limited battery life due to high power consumption: When laptops use high-performance components like CPUs and GPUs, they tend to consume more power than low-power components. This can drain battery life quickly and limit mobility.
- Limited portability due to bulky design: When laptops have large motherboards with many components attached to them, they tend to be heavier and thicker than slim laptops with fewer components. This can make them less portable and ergonomic.
The Supernova SoM module solves these challenges by offering:
- Higher performance without thermal throttling: By reducing heat generation and improving cooling efficiency, the module allows laptops to run at higher clock speeds without compromising stability or reliability.
- Longer battery life without sacrificing performance: By reducing power consumption and increasing memory bandwidth, the module allows laptops to run faster while using less energy than conventional laptops.
- Greater portability without compromising features: By reducing motherboard size and weight while maintaining high-end features like OLED display and RTX graphics card ,the module allows laptops to be thinner and lighter than traditional laptops.
What are some future benefits of using this technology?
The future benefits of using this technology are manifold:
- Faster innovation cycles: By using a modular approach to laptop design, ASUS can easily upgrade its products with new processors and memory chips without redesigning the entire motherboard .This can speed up innovation cycles and offer customers more choices and flexibility .
- More customization options: By using a standardized interface between the motherboard and the modules ,ASUS can offer customers more customization options for their laptops .For example ,customers could choose different modules with different CPUs ,memory capacities ,or even GPUs according to their preferences and needs .
- More eco-friendly production: By reducing material waste and energy consumption during production ,ASUS can lower its environmental impact and contribute to sustainability goals .
Which models use this technology?
Currently the only model that uses this technology is ASUS’ Zenbook Pro 16X OLED.