A significant boost in memory performance and capacity is what all hardware or software user would look for whenever an update is released. The launch of DDR4 (Double Data Rate 4) RAM is reported to enhance the performance of tablet, server, consumer devices and data centres. We can hence look forward to a major revolution happening in all including mobile devices. The following article talks exactly about this in brief.
Though both Micron and Samsung have announced about the development of DDR4 memory, Samsung was the first to declare in January 2011 about the development of 4 Gb DDR4 DRAM module and also had started shipping their 2 Gb DDR4 DRAM module by the end of 2010.
Micron announced earlier this month (May 2012) about the release of DDR4 memory product. This 4gigabit x8 DDR4 memory is said to be developed along with Nanya, a Taiwanese partner. It has also announced that higher versions such as x16 and x32 DDR4 memory will be built in the future.
What’s new in DDR4 memory?
Unlike the current design where there are multiple shared channels to connect memory units with CPU’s memory controller, DDR4 memory has its own point-to-point connection. It will not only reduce voltage level but also the overall power requirement.
IHS iSuppli analysts say that the successor of DDR3 RAM will help in the reduction of power consumption by 20% to 40%. Increase in the amount of memory and also its bandwidth is believed to create a huge difference particularly in its performance.
The price of DDR4 memory directly depends upon new advancements made such as additional memory connections and high speed digital switches applied to reduce the number of direct memory channels that are used to connect CPU’s memory controller. Another factor is that the memory chip has to be densely designed to fit in all point-to-point connections. And lastly, Samsung and Micron is to manufacture DDR4 memory with 30 nanometer technology which is something more than what is used currently applied in CPUs. All these factors put together will make the production of this new technology slightly an expensive one. However, tight competition prevailing between the two companies is likely to reduce its cost to a maximum extent.
Future of DDR4 memory
- According to Mike Howard, an analyst with IHS iSuppli, DDR4 will be used by Intel in 2014 mainly in their server as it needs greater bandwidth and lower power consumption. It is however thought that this new DDR4 memory will be implemented in computing devices also apart from the servers.
- The future of DDR4 memory seems to be strong as reports state that both Samsung and Micron are planning to bring in memory modules that would support DDR4 memory. With this, Samsung is expected to reduce as much as 40% of its total power consumption. Hence, both these companies will be using just 30nm circuitry to build their products. The speed of DDR4 memory will be 3.2Gbps when compared to the speed of DDR2 with 800Gbps and DDR3’s memory of 16Gbps.
- Yet another advantage of DDR4 memory is to have more density and also more stacks to arrange 8 chips one on top of the other, unlike DDR3 that has just four chips.
- The introduction of DDR4 memory not only focuses on reducing the power usage but also in increasing the performance of devices where it is used. Power consumption by processors was not considered as a major issue as it was the only component consuming maximum power in computing devices. But, reduction in power consumption is sure to help in the long run of battery life.
- Improvements have been made to I/O signalling to save power. The use of ‘open drain’ driver will reduce power consumption as the I/O will use power only to write zero and not a one unlike other DDR memories that use power to write zero and one.
- Another feature would be the reduction in number of refreshes. Unlike DDR3 memories that refresh often to cool it whenever the device got heated up, DDR4 memory cools off whenever mobile devices such as tablets and laptops slipped to sleep mode.
- Based on the preliminary specs, DDR4 memory will have improved data transfer rates when compared to DDR3 memory. However, the initial transfer speeds of DDR4 unit will be 2.4 billion memory transfers per second and will be gradually increased to 3.2 giga transfers per second. Samsung has also announced that its DDR4 memory will give a throughput of 2.113 gigabits per second.
- And, last but not the least. DDR4 memory can be optimised for server usage alone and this would be more advantageous for the server industry.
This new computer memory technology is likely to break all barriers if successfully designed to fit in servers as cloud computing services have become a successful one. It is expected that by 2015, DDR4 memory will conquer more than half of the memory market and, at this point of time device performance would be at its peak. A load of thanks to the technology!
Bini, a writer by profession finds interest in technical stuff and innovations happening in varied industries. She writes for several sites including http://broadbandsuppliers.co.uk/ and http://freeinuk.co.uk/.