JEDEC Solid State Technology Association, the group that spearheads standards development for the microelectronics industry, has unveiled a new set of standards for DDR4, the next-generation DRAM memory
that will give way to faster and less power-hungry PCs.
According to JEDEC, the new DDR4 memory will boost the performance of servers, laptops and desktop PCs, allowing for ultra-fast data transfer speeds that weren't possible with existing DRAM technologies like DDR3 and DDR2. Specifically, DDR4 boasts a per-pin data rate of at least 1.6 giga transfers per second -- which was the initial maxed-out speed of DDR3 -- and can reach speeds as high as 3.2 giga transfers per second.
JEDEC explained that DDR4 could eventually even surpass this 3.2 giga transfers per second rate, considering DDR3 surpassed its initial ceiling of 1.6 giga transfers per second. DDR4 memory bus speeds also start at 2133MHz, representing a jump from the average bus speed of 1333MHz and 1666MHz for DDR3.
In addition to a performance boost, DDR4 is expected to improve the memory efficiency and bandwidth of the devices in which it's used, a feat that's made possible by the fact that its architecture will allow devices to have separate memory banks for activation, read, write and refresh operations.
What's more, DDR4 will allow devices to consume less power than they did featuring DDR3 or DDR2. JEDEC's specifications suggest that DDR4 will operate with a power envelope of 1.2 volts, compared to the DDR3's more power-hungry 1.5 volts.
The performance and power efficiency delivered through DDR4 are poised to usher in a new generation of efficient, high-performance PCs and servers, JEDEC said.
"The publication of the JEDEC DDR4 standard represents the culmination of years of dedicated effort by memory device, system, component and module producers worldwide," said Joe Macri, chairman of JEDEC's JC-42.3 Subcommittee for DRAM Memories, in a statement. "The new standard will enable next generation systems to achieve greater performance, significantly increased packaging density and improved reliability -- with lower power consumption."
JEDEC didn't mention when DDR4 would officially make its debut in the PC market, but some DRAM manufacturers, such as Samsung, have already started to sample the new technology. Samsung's semiconductor unit announced in July that it was testing both 8-GB and 16-GB DDR4 modules and said it has started providing the technology, which will be used predominantly for enterprise server systems, to major CPU and controller makers.
The new DDR4 standard is available for free download on JEDEC's website.
PUBLISHED SEPT. 27, 2012