DDR3 could be just months away from unseating DDR2 as the leading system memory type for PCs. In its latest report, iSuppli says it expects DDR3 to account for 50.9% of global DRAM shipments by the second quarter of 2010, before going on to make up 71% of shipments by the end of that same year.
For reference, the market research firm points out that DDR3 only made up 1% of shipments in the second quarter of 2008 and 14.2% in the second quarter of this year. Shipments climbed to 23% last quarter, and iSuppli reckons they'll go up another nine points this quarter.
The firm credits both Intel's new, DDR3-only processors as well as the "increasing manufacturability" of the memory technology for this growth. Only relatively pricey Intel Core i5 and i7 processors lack support for DDR2 right now, but next quarter, that same exclusivity will spread to lower price points with the arrival of 32-nm, dual-core Clarkdale processors.
Recent changes in pricing should also help DDR3's popularity. The memory type still commanded a premium when we looked at prices for 4GB kits less than three months ago, but today, the situation has almost reversed. The cheapest 4GB DDR3 kit on Newegg will only set you back $72.99, but getting 4GB of DDR2 means shelling out at least $79.99. (Both kits come with free shipping.) At this rate, iSuppli's predictions don't seem all that far-fetched.