Samsung mass-producing 32GB DDR4 modules for servers


— 9:05 AM on August 30, 2013

Samsung has begun mass-producing DDR4 memory modules for next-gen servers. The modules use Samsung's own chips, which are fabbed on "20 nanometer (nm)-class" process technology. Samsung tends to avoid specifics when discussing lithography nodes; in this case, it's referring to a fab process between 20 and 30 nm.

The Samsung DDR4 chips weigh in at 4Gb each, so it takes 128 of them to populate the 32GB modules pictured above. Although Samsung is focusing its DDR4 efforts on the ultra-high-capacity DIMMs, it looks like the firm will also offer 16GB modules based on the same memory.

The individual DDR4 dies are capable of transferring data at up to 2667Mbps, or 333MB/s. According to Samsung, that's a 25% increase over the top speed of equivalent DDR3 offerings. Impressively, the DDR4 chips offer higher performance than DDR3 while consuming 30% less power. Datacenter operators may appreciate the power savings even more than the performance boost.

Despite the fact that final DDR4 DIMMs are rolling off Samsung's production line, we haven't seen any commercially available systems ready to accept them. There's a bit of a chicken-and-egg thing going on here; DIMMs need to be available before platforms can adopt a new memory type. Market research firm iSuppli expects DDR4 to make up 12% of the DRAM market next year, though. That share is expected to reach 56% in 2015, outstripping the demand for DDR3.

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