JEDEC finalizes DDR4 spec, coming to a PC near you in 2015

By on September 25, 2012, 6:00 PM

Memory standards group JEDEC has published the final specifications for DDR4 SDRAM, promising more performance, reliability and efficiency than today's DDR3 parts. DDR4 touts a per-pin data rate of 1.6GT/s to 3.2GT/s (giga transfers per second), though JEDEC notes that the ceiling may eventually be raised with an updated spec, just as DDR3 has managed to exceed its original targeted performance of 1.6GT/s.

The new design runs at 1.2 volts versus 1.5 volts for DDR3, and its bus speed will start at 2133MHz versus 1333MHz and 1666MHz for DDR3. Additionally, JEDEC says the architecture has an 8n prefetch with two or four selectable bank groups, which allows DDR4 devices to have separate activation, read, write or refresh operations underway in each bank group -- a design that improves efficiency and bandwidth.

Naturally, there are no hard dates on when you'll be able to purchase DDR4 modules for your system, but most estimates suggest it'll be a few years. Last June, iSuppli wrote that DDR3 RAM would represent over 90% of the DRAM market through 2013 and that would drop to 85% in 2014 with DDR4 occupying 12% of the market. The outfit reported that by 2015, DDR4 would have a 56% share, pushing DDR3 to 42%.

Manufacturers, however, would like to accelerate the adoption of DDR4 to boost prices and sales according to a Forward Insights researcher speaking with Computerworld, and they have been showing DDR4 modules at trade shows this year. In May, Micron announced the development of its first fully functional DDR4 module along with revealing plans to begin mass production in the fourth quarter of this year.

Regardless of whether DDR4 modules are available, enthusiasts will have to wait for platform support from Intel and AMD. In April, it was reported that Intel expected to begin supporting DDR4 in high-end four-socket Haswell-EX servers by early 2014. Meanwhile, its consumer platforms may not support the spec until 2015, as 2013's 22nm Haswell and 2014's 14nm Broadwell architectures will both use DDR3.




User Comments: 6

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Guest said:

"The new design consumes 1.2 volts"

A device doesn't consume volts; it consumes power (Watts). And while watts are more or less based on volts (for DC: P=U*I or Watt=Volt*Ampere; for AC or complex waveforms this becomes a bit more difficult), they're really not the same.

LukeDJ LukeDJ said:

"The new design consumes 1.2 volts"

A device doesn't consume volts; it consumes power (Watts). And while watts are more or less based on volts (for DC: P=U*I or Watt=Volt*Ampere; for AC or complex waveforms this becomes a bit more difficult), they're really not the same.

It really doesn't matter. The point is it draws less power.

mosu said:

The point is one can use a single supply for both processor and memory banks and maybe integrated graphics...

Staff
Matthew Matthew, TechSpot Staff, said:

Well, I think the Guest's feedback matters. I've changed the text so it reads "runs at" instead of "consumes" -- hopefully that's more accurate .

Guest said:

Guest above was totally on with power vs potential. You could run at only .5 V but draw 1 A which would be 500 mW. On the other hand you can run at 1.6 V and only use .25 A and end up with a power consumption of 400 mW. It is nice to see that the author took the reader feedback into consideration. Good on you.

Jiopaba2 Jiopaba2 said:

Something to look forward to, I suppose. Always nice to see progress marching on. I'm pretty happy with my computer now, so it's likely that the next time I do a full system replacement, I'll be buying myself something like 32GB of DDR4.

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