IDF: DDR4 - the successor to DDR3 memory
Intel and Qimonda may have given almost no details of the forthcoming DDR4 SDRAM standard for computer memory at the Intel Developer Forum, but they still expect the next generation of RAM to be introduced in 2012. Qimonda further reckons that the memory chips will, following previous trends for DDR development, have to run at clock speeds significantly greater than 1 GHz and require an operating voltage of just 1.2 volts. The JEDEC standardisation committee cited similar figures around one year ago, when an initial version of the DDR4 SDRAM specification was expected to be available this year.
Most of Qimonda’s talk at the IDF concerned, more frugal memory chips – DDR3 SDRAM for example – operating at a voltage of just 1.35 rather than 1.5 volts, thereby achieving reduced power consumption. Although this is beneficial in theory, compared to other power-consuming laptop components, reductions in the power consumption of memory modules have previously carried little weight. Since, to avoid overheating, modern memory systems automatically reduce the clock speed of memory chips if high temperatures are registered, lower power DRAMs could result in improved system performance. However, this could also be achieved through the use of more powerful cooling systems.
Also, Intel once again raised the subject of MetaRAM memory modules, which offer extra large capacities. For example a server with two Nehalem series Xeons each connected to 9 memory slots – 3 DDR3 SDRAM channels with three slots each, with all slots occupied by 8 Gbyte DIMMs made up of standard, cheap 1 Gbit chips would have 144 Gbytes of memory. Hynix is even showing sample 16 Gbyte MetaRAM DIMMS at IDF.
For more on the Autumn IDF 2008 see also:
- IDF: turbo mode for Nehalem
- IDF: Intel firms up Nehalem plans
- IDF: Fast SSDs
- IDF: Future Xeon servers with extended power management
- IDF: the dual-core Atom for cheap computers is on its way
- IDF: Details about QuickPath Interconnect