The shift from DDR2 to DDR3 has been long underway, and research group iSuppli believes the transition will reach a critical point in the second quarter of next year. The outfit predicts DDR3 shipments will rise to account for over half of the global DRAM market by spring 2010, leaving DDR2 behind for the first time.

According to iSuppli, DDR3's share of the DRAM market (in terms of gigabit-equivalent shipments) will grow to 50.9% in the second quarter of 2010, up from a meager 14.2% in 2009 and 1% in 2008. By the end of next year, DDR3 is expected to account for 72% of shipments. The firm provided various contributing reasons for the acceleration away from DDR2.

For starters, Intel's latest CPU architecture, Nehalem, features an on-chip memory controller that only supports DDR3 RAM. As PC manufacturers gravitate toward Intel's new processor line, they must also employ DDR3 memory. It's also worth noting that DDR3 prices have fallen drastically, recently dipping below DDR2 -- not to mention that DDR3 is faster and more energy efficient.