New Laptop Memory Saves Space and Power

John Lister's picture

A new form of laptop memory aims to remove one of the biggest trade-offs in portable devices. It promises speed and power efficiency while still being easily replaceable.

Most existing laptop memory falls into two categories, each with a weakness. One type, which is easily replaceable, takes up a comparatively large amount of space and uses a lot of power. That's double bad news in a portable computer.

The other type is smaller and more energy efficient but must be soldered onto the motherboard, which is effectively the "spine" of a computer's operations. That's great at first but it removes the possibility to extend a laptop's lifespan by upgrading memory as software demands evolve. It also means that if the memory fails, the laptop itself could be useless without an expensive or impractical repair.

The new LPCAMM2 format is billed as offering speed and capacity while being replaceable. It's not quite as straightforward as snapping a memory board in or out of a desktop, but does only need to be screwed in or out of place.

Dual Channel Approach

One of the keys is that LPCAMM2 only takes up a single module (a designated space) in a laptop but still offers dual channel support. That means the computer has two "connections" to send and retrieve data from memory, dramatically increasing operating speed. In normal memory setups, dual channel would require using two modules and take up twice the space. (Source:

The technology is debuting in a Lenovo ThinkPad in 32GB and 64GB varieties. The makers say it takes up 64 percent less space any reduces power consumption by 80 percent in standby and between 43 and 58 percent in active use. (Source:

Competition May Follow

It's already been approved as an industry standard, which should assure compatibility between laptops and memory modules from different manufacturers. That should make it more likely competition will drive down prices with users able to shop around.

Initially the technology is likely only to appear in high-end laptops. However, the format means that theoretically it could be added to mid-range and budget machines and still make a meaningful performance difference.

What's Your Opinion?

Have you ever wished you can replace or upgrade memory in a laptop? Is 64GB too much memory to make upgrading any further irrelevant? Would you pay extra for a smaller laptop with a longer battery life?

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ronangel1's picture

Would be more useful if could directly replace existing memory modules so that existing computers could be upgraded.Probably more profit than selling newer computers over time.As more people would upgrade than those non-corporate or with older computers buying new ones.

Dennis Faas's picture

These are DDR5 modules so they wouldn't be compatible with older units, unfortunately.

Focused100's picture

My Son the geek tells me to stay away from Lenovo laptops precisely because their memory is soldered in. Most other laptops memory is not soldered in.

I like being able to upgrade my laptop. I upgraded both the memory and the SSD for improved performance and storage options.