Compute Express Link (CXL)

Compute Express Link (CXL)
Compute Express Link® (CXL®) is an industry-supported Cache-Coherent Interconnect for Processors, Memory Expansion and Accelerators. CXL technology maintains memory coherency between the CPU memory space and memory on attached devices, which allows resource sharing for higher performance, reduced software stack complexity, and lower overall system cost. This permits users to simply focus on target workloads as opposed to the redundant memory management hardware in their accelerators.

​CXL is designed to be an industry open standard interface for high-speed communications, as accelerators are increasingly used to complement CPUs in support of emerging applications such as Artificial Intelligence and Machine Learning.

The rise of AI and big data has been fueling the trend toward heterogeneous computing, where multiple processors work in parallel to process massive volumes of data. CXL—an open, industry-supported interconnect based on the PCI Express (PCIe) 5.0 interface—enables high-speed, low latency communication between the host processor and devices such as accelerators, memory buffers and smart I/O devices, while expanding memory capacity and bandwidth well beyond what is possible today. Samsung has been collaborating with several data center, server and chipset manufacturers to develop next-generation interface technology since the CXL consortium was formed in 2019.

CXL is a new interface that’s designed to enhance the efficiency of a computing system’s memory, CPU and graphics processing unit (GPU). In conventional platforms, devices like memory and storage have their own interfaces that link them to the CPU. But going through all these different interfaces to communicate with one another creates latency, slowing down operations. And with the massive growth in data being used for AI and machine learning, latency issues have only gotten worse.

CXL is part of a next-generation interface that will be applied to PCIe 5.0. By integrating multiple existing interfaces into one, directly connecting devices and enabling them to share memory, CXL addresses those limitations and creates new data pathways that are faster and more efficient. This next-generation memory solution is the reason why CXL has been receiving so much attention.