Cheaper and faster DDR3 RAM may be just around the corner. Samsung says it has started mass-producing a new 2Gb DDR3 memory chip based on 40nm process technology—supposedly the first of its kind in the industry.
This chip should find its way into desktop DIMMs and laptop SO-DIMMs with capacities as high as 4GB, not to mention server-bound RDIMMs with capacities up to 16GB. If I have my math right, Samsung is saying those modules should be able to reach effective speeds of up to 1,600MHz at only 1.35V. (For what it's worth, JEDEC specifies the standard voltage for DDR3 RAM as 1.5V, and Intel Core i7 systems support up to 1.65V.)
According to Samsung, moving down to 40nm improves productivity by about 60% compared to the older 50nm process. The firm announced its first 50nm, 2Gb DDR3 chip back in September of last year.
Samsung also quotes iSuppli data that says 2Gb DDR3 chips will become the "mainstream DDR3 product" by next year. Such chips are projected to represent 82% of all DDR3 DRAM units sold by 2012, too.