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Sep 26, 2012

JEDEC: DDR4 Memory Standard Is Now Official




JEDEC is an international organization that encompasses many memory chip manufacturers, module manufacturers and other technology companies.

The organization develops and sets the standard specification in the DRAM memory field, and now it has officially launched the DDR4 standard. This means that now DDR4 mainboards and memory modules will start appearing from various manufacturers as there currently is a standard that will ensure compatibility between the different devices. Many believe that DDR4 will not be too popular during the next 12 months as DDR3 has greatly surpassed its specifications, and this will make initial DDR4 implementation look less impressive than DDR3-based ones. Also, just like any new technology, DDR4 modules will initially be quite expensive when compared with DDR3 DIMMs so there will be yet another factor working against widespread DDR4 use. Even so, many difference companies are hard at work developing DDR4-based technologies and we’ve already reported here about Cadence’s first DDR4 memory controller that’s manufactured in TSMC’s 28nm technology.

Intel is also preparing its own DDR4 memory controller that will likely be integrated in future Haswell processors, but even Intel is not gearing for a 2013 launch. The Haswell DDR4 version will likely land on the market in 2014 with an LGA2011 implementation or something similar. DDR3 memory was officially standardized back in 2007, but work on DDR4 started way back in 2005 while being initially projected for a 2008 launch. The roadmap and development plan has been changed in 2010 and only in 2011 did we start to see the first samples of DDR4 technology.

DDR4 DIMMs will have 284 pins while DDR3 standard modules only have 240 pins. The SO-DIMM version will feature 256 pins while the DDR3 SO-DIMMs have only 204 pins. On the power consumption side, DDR4 DIMMs will need 1.2 volts while standard DDR3 modules use 1.5 volts. High-density modules using 3D chips manufactured using TSV technology will also make an appearance in 2014, but one of the most important aspects is the point to point nature of the standard. This means that a single module will likely be directly connected to a single memory channel.

Samsung 16 GB DDR4 RDIMM Memory Module
Image credits to Samsung

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