If you thought DDR3 was a mature and widespread memory standard for desktops and notebooks, you’d have thought right, but things are likely to change as quickly as next year. Micron, one of the top memory chip manufacturers is suggesting that DDR4, the next major standard in memory is going to hit the market next year. Desktops and notebooks will be on the receiving end of the new standard by the end of 2013. Micron has already announced that they have DDR4 DRAM modules ready already and implementation can begin in 2013. There are partners and customers who’ve shown interest and given feedback on the new standard, they say.
DDR3 will slowly fade away in the years to come
Micron expects the initial customers to be those in the enterprise and micro-server space. The technology should soon spread into the tablets and ultra-thin client markets. Micron feels that there are a ton of advantages to using DDR4 over DDR3 when it comes to the performance and power efficiency side of things. Micron worked alongside Nanya to develop the new chips that are now based on the 30nm fabrication process. The new memory is said to operate at a lower voltage of just 1.2V, as compared to the 1.5V required by DDR3 modules. This should help reduce power consumption on the devices, by quite a bit.
Micron hasn’t started mass producing the chips, just yet, but their customers and partners have been able to sample the chips over the past few months. Once JEDEC approves of the new standard, Micron will become compliant for their 30nm DDR4 technology. Mass production should start soon after. DDR3, the last major update to PC memory happened back in 2007, when motherboards supporting DDR3 were introduced. It’ll be six years, since the memory standard has been upgraded. It’s hard to say when motherboards and chipsets supporting the new technology will be introduced. Brian Shirley, VP of Micron DRAM said that the technology was very close to being finalized and that they were working on making the product JEDEC certified as soon as possible.