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Sep 11, 2012

World First 28nm DDR4 Memory Controller




Californian electronic design automation software and engineering services company Cadence Design Systems has just announced the world’s first DDR4 memory controller manufactured in 28nm technology.

The chip has already been manufactured and tested in TSMC’s 28nm (28HPM and 28HP) process technologies. "We are excited to be the first to offer silicon-proven DDR4 memory controller and PHY IP that will enable our customers to exceed performance and power requirements in their next generation SoCs with reduced risk," said Marc Greenberg, director of product marketing, SoC realization group at Cadence Design Systems. DDR4 technology will have 50% higher frequency than the currently available DDR3 and will also require less than 60% the transmission energy required per bit. This basically translates into a 40% power consumption reduction going from DDR3 to DDR4, but this is not the only advantage. The 50% increased frequency will also help the bandwidth grow, but any addition in frequency comes with improved latencies.

DDR4 controllers will support double the memory capacity when compared with standard DDR3 controllers. The DDR4 PHY presented by Cadence Design Systems comes with data rates that were tested and shown to exceed the initial DDR-2400 draft specifications. Cadence Design Systems has also demonstrated working interoperability with current DDR3 and DDR3L standards. A low-power, all-digital mobile PHY implementation was also tested in TSMC’s 28HPM technology and this one brings data rates that exceed the official specifications for DDR3-1600 and DDR3-1866 standards. HPM is short for “high performance for mobile applications” and this is TSMC’s power optimized 28nm manufacturing process with emphasis on performance.

This design also exceeds the maximum data rates specified for the low-power LPDDR2 standard, thus enabling manufacturers to integrate power-efficient memory technologies in next-generation mobile designs. The hardware market is not moving too fast for the DDR4 standard and 2013 will still be a DDR3 year, but the new standard is surely going to take off in early 2014.

Samsung 16 GB DDR4 RDIMM Memory Module
Image credits to Samsung

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