Monday, September 9, 2013
Samsung starting mass production of DDR4 Memory
Samsung announced that it has started mass producing DDR4 memories that it expects will go into enterprise servers in next-generation data centers. Memory DDR4 RAM modules in 16GB and 32GB capacities, following news that 16GB modules were being sampled back in July 2012. Samsung boasts that its modules support up to 2667Mbps transfer speeds and that the 4Gb DDR4 memory chips used by the modules lower power consumption by 30 percent relative to comparable DDR3 chips.
As we've written before, any speed increases promised by DDR4 won't make their way into servers or PCs until memory controllers begin to support them. Since today's memory controllers are integrated into the CPUs themselves, we'll need to wait for new processors before we can get new memory. Intel's Haswell-E server CPUs, due in 2014, are the company's first announced processors to support DDR4, and there's no word on whether its next-generation "Broadwell" chips for consumer PCs will support the standard. AMD has yet to announce its own plans for DDR4 support.
Samsung's modules use 4Gb (512MB) chips manufactured at 20nm, the same process being used to make its current low-power "green DDR3." Neither 16GB nor 32GB memory modules are unheard of today (especially in server memory), but 32GB modules are rare and much more expensive than their 16GB counterparts. When DDR4 memory does finally hit servers (and in a more distant future consumer PCs, tablets, and phones), it may make these larger capacities more accessible than they are today.