Micron touts ‘first fully functional’ DDR4 module

So, I guess we’re up to DDR4 now—or at least, we will be very soon. Micron says it has successfully developed, sampled, and received customer feedback on its “first fully functional DDR4 DRAM module”—a 4GB part that includes eight 30-nm, 4Gb chips. Here are the dirty details:

Codeveloped by Nanya and based on Micron’s 30-nanometer (nm) technology, the 4-gigabit (Gb) DDR4 x8 part is the first piece of what is expected to be the industry’s most complete portfolio of DDR4-based modules, which will include RDIMMs, LRDIMMs, 3DS, SODIMMs and UDIMMs (standard and ECC). For the soldered down space, x8, x16, and x32 components will also be available, with initial speeds up to 2400 megatransfers per second (MT/s), increasing to the JEDEC-defined 3200 MT/s.

The module actually started sampling earlier this year, but Micron now boasts that it’s gotten feedback from “major customers,” and it says mass-production will kick off in the fourth quarter of this year. We’re apparently due for the first commercial applications some time in 2013.

Speaking of those, Micron expects the “enterprise and micro-server markets” to be at the forefront of the DDR4 transition. It adds that the the “ultrathin client and tablet markets” will also benefit from the technology. If given half a chance, though, I bet us PC enthusiasts will jump on the new memory type like wild cats on fresh meat—assuming there are tangible performance and/or power-efficiency advantages, that is.

According to an iSuppli report posted last year, DDR4 won’t have a significant slice of the DRAM module market until 2014. iSuppli expects DDR4 to account for a whopping 56% of that market in 2015, though.

Comments closed
    • rishidev
    • 8 years ago

    Waat da hell is everybody talkin bout!!!!……..
    i just care to get me some 32GB gskill sniper(revised) 3200Mhz DDR4 low voltage version 1.05v ram running smoothly on my 28 nm based AMD steamroller chip(eef eat caan haandle eat).

    will huppy debaitin to da rist of u……… Im droolin ind tulking french……….just get me some DDR4!!!

      • lycium
      • 8 years ago

      are you 8 years old? “huppy debaitin to da rist of u”, really?

        • rishidev
        • 8 years ago

        Whoops!!
        my 9 year old nephew …

        On a more practical note……i was waiting for piledriver to launch to replace my htpc pentium e6600 with sapphire 5450 in a baby atx cabinet.
        Seems ill better wait off another year to see any “radicalism” that ddr4 might bring in.
        Yes APU’s might just get more interesting….third generation from amd might really have a 6950’s capacity along with a X’fired next gen card.

      • khands
      • 8 years ago

      dat talking bout!!!!…….. (eef caan haandle) huppy debaitin da rist u……… Im droolin ind tulking……….

      Now if you can find something else to use instead of the above we might be able to hold something I like to call a conversation.

    • Draphius
    • 8 years ago

    Power efficiency??? i run my i5 2500K at 4.6 ghz what do i care about power, if its faster thats all i care about

      • internetsandman
      • 8 years ago

      You sir, are correct. Your singular usage pattern is indeed the benchmark by which all applications for this product and technology should be judged. You don’t care about your electrical bill? Indeed, to hell with everyone else’s electrical bills! Please sir, the masses are clamouring for your insight once more, please do tell us of what other markets need not be served, what other technologies need not be developed as they shall not be serving you, our wisest and most experienced leader and forum browser.

        • Draphius
        • 8 years ago

        power efficiency makes sense for the enterprise market but the article inlcudes the statement about efficiency for pc enthusiasts where the few extra watts it consumes means absolutely nothing even on the electric bill

          • internetsandman
          • 8 years ago

          Maybe not on it’s own, but every little bit helps. An increase in memory efficiency, along with CPU and GPU efficiency, higher quality PSU’s, etc. You might not realize it because it’s spread out over such a long time frame, but they do count, and for people looking to save as much as they possibly can, every little bit counts even more

          • crabjokeman
          • 8 years ago

          I hear mobile/battery-powered devices are popular these days…

          • crabjokeman
          • 8 years ago

          You’re probably too ignorant to care, but there’s also the environmental factor, which can be collectively significant when you add up all of the Watts saved.

            • crabjokeman
            • 8 years ago

            Okay TR, begin downvoting and hurling “hippy” insults in 3.. 2.. 1..

            • Krogoth
            • 8 years ago

            It matters in the enterprise world, especially in server/datacenter rooms.

            More watts consume = more cooling = increased operation costs = hurting your bottom line.

            • Krogoth
            • 8 years ago

            Looks like the downvoters are people who have no idea how the world works or probably don’t have pay their electrical bills.

            • crabjokeman
            • 8 years ago

            No one said it didn’t matter to the enterprise, and your comment seems unrelated to my environment comment. Reply fail?

      • Geistbar
      • 8 years ago

      I hope you realize that by increasing power efficiency, there is now a larger heat budget to work with to increase the performance of parts. Without increased power efficiency over the years, your PC wouldn’t be 1/10 as powerful as it is right now — it certainly wouldn’t have been able to handle 4.6 GHz.

    • lycium
    • 8 years ago

    Memory is still hundreds of times slower than L2, and fast RAM matters for the same reasons SSDs matter (eliminating bottlenecks).

    Computer graphics applications (eg. games) just love memory bandwidth!

      • Krogoth
      • 8 years ago

      Memory bandwidth and latency have been a non-issue on desktops since we moved onto DDR2. The only area where it still matters somewhat are in servers and workstations, but that depends on their workload.

      The main benefit of DDR4 is that modules will require lower voltage which means it is going to be easier for memory manufacturers to make higher density modules. DDR4 is going to make 8GiB and 16GiB modules affordable.

        • Duck
        • 8 years ago

        There’s no technical reason I am aware of that is stopping die shrunk, lower voltage DDR3 from being produced instead.

          • Krogoth
          • 8 years ago

          IIRC, DDR4 is basically a die-shrink, lower-voltage version of DDR3. 😉

            • Duck
            • 8 years ago

            I used to think that with DDR to DDR2. But you can make a voltage regulator go as low as you need. There’s no need to make a new standard and need a new motherboard just to allow you to use lower voltage DIMMs. The motherboard could have been designed to allow for that in the first place.

            There’s something else going on that I don’t really have a good technical understanding of that allows the capacity to scale up. The reason they don’t start off with DDR4 instead of DDR, is because performance would be destroyed by massive latencies and the manufacturing capabilities are not advanced enough to get high MHz DIMMs that help negate the latency issues. So it’s a loose-loose situation. There’s no reason to rush switching to a new standard unless you are capacity constrained.

            So since you can already get copious amounts of DDR3 RAM, there is no valid reason (at the moment) to switch to DDR4 soon instead of using lower voltage, die shrunk DDR3. In fact, die shrunk DDR3 would outperform DDR4 thanks to reduced latencies. You don’t [i<]really[/i<] need DDR4 until 16GB of RAM becomes too mainstream and you are in need of more. 4GB is a lot of RAM. 8GB is luxurious. 16GB is downright decadent. 32GB won't be needed for quite some time. Certainly a lot later than 2013.

            • Geistbar
            • 8 years ago

            [quote<]So since you can already get copious amounts of DDR3 RAM, there is no valid reason (at the moment) to switch to DDR4 soon instead of using lower voltage, die shrunk DDR3.[/quote<] When you do need that increase in density, would you prefer that DDR4 (or higher) is already the standard, or be stuck updating all of it on short notice? Similar to the updates with PCI-E, this ensures that we are never in a scenario where we have less than we need, where switching to what we need would cost lots of money. I would much rather stay one step ahead of the technology curve than one step behind it, all else being equal.

            • Duck
            • 8 years ago

            PCIe is backwards compatible and DDR4 isn’t, so you can’t say they are similar.

            I tried to explain already how DDR3 would outperform DDR4. Isn’t that an incentive enough? If I could control the industry I would have a new line of 20nm DDR3 launch some time before 2014 and delay the switch to DDR4 by about 2 years. This 20nm DDR3 should be the pinnacle of enthusiast RAM – high clocking, low power, aggressively priced, with 4GB and 8GB DIMMs. But instead I expect everyone to start moving over to DDR4 which will carry a price premium and get all the die shrinking love.

            Of course, all my comments are applicable to desktop PCs and laptops. Not so much the server and workstations.

            • Geistbar
            • 8 years ago

            [quote<]PCIe is backwards compatible and DDR4 isn't, so you can't say they are similar.[/quote<] Sure I can. They are similar, but they still have differences; backwards compatibility is one of them. Staying ahead of the curve is not. [quote<]If I could control the industry I would have a new line of 20nm DDR3 launch some time before 2014 and delay the switch to DDR4 by about 2 years. This 20nm DDR3 should be the pinnacle of enthusiast RAM - high clocking, low power, aggressively priced, with 4GB and 8GB DIMMs. But instead I expect everyone to start moving over to DDR4 which will carry a price premium and get all the die shrinking love.[/quote<] Die shrinking an already existing design isn't free. Time on new processes isn't free. Upgrading fabs isn't free. They don't just toss their DDR3 design through a shrink ray and toss it at the fabs. The price premium for new memory is specifically because of those design updates that are needed -- design updates that are not avoided if you stick with the same generation of DDR. We wouldn't be getting 20nm DDR3 at DDR3 prices. We'd be getting 20nm DDR3 at DDR4 prices.

            • Duck
            • 8 years ago

            So then you are saying that at worst DDR3 would match DDR4. At best due to reasons I’ve explained, DDR3 would be better than DDR4 then.

    • 5150
    • 8 years ago

    I wish Rambus was still in the game.

      • shank15217
      • 8 years ago

      It still is, it has the highest bandwidth ram available on a single chip, look up XDR2. People just don’t want to pay the royalties to rambus but their technology is far superior.They got a bad rap back in the Intel rambus days and their litigative behavior after that, however they have some amazing technology.

        • Duck
        • 8 years ago

        They have nothing superior. They just work out how to connect a memory bus then sue or get royalties from everyone else that needs to connect a memory bus.

        • 5150
        • 8 years ago

        I agree with what you said, I think they have great product, but I wouldn’t say that they’re “in the game”.

          • tfp
          • 8 years ago

          No they aren’t in the PC game (unless graphics cards switch to XDR2) but in consoles and TVs they still have sales and it’s probably a good amount of volume.

    • mczak
    • 8 years ago

    “Fully functional module” but they don’t even say how fast it is. Yeah sure “later” 3200MT/s and initial “soldered down” parts 2400MT/s which almost certainly means the module is slower. So, probably ddr4-2133 at best (but it could be worse) which isn’t exactly much of an improvement over ddr3.
    Granted for the mobile space as long as it saves power that’s just fine but on the desktop that speed grade isn’t terribly interesting, unless it would be just as cheap as ddr3 (which it won’t be for the near future).

      • tfp
      • 8 years ago

      And if you look at the speeds DDR3 started at it wasn’t much faster then the high end DDR2 at the time. This is to be expected.

        • mczak
        • 8 years ago

        That much is true. IIRC you could get ddr3-1066 first (with somewhat worse latency than ddr2-800). And yes both for cost and performance reasons ddr3 wasn’t interesting for something like 1-2 years after it finally appeared in the market. So I guess if ddr4 is going to appear q4 2012 (and I’ve got my doubts what cpu could use it by then?) it won’t be interesting for consumer space until 2014 at the earliest…

        Actually ddr4 support should be available in intel’s haswell-ex cpu (2014). At the desktop though, haswell will be ddr3, and since the successor of haswell, broadwell, should use the same socket (1150) that suggests (it would be possible to use the same socket in theory but I’m not sure that’s likely) you need to wait for skylake for ddr4 support (2015). So they may talk about modules being ready Q4 2012 but don’t expect it to find it in a shop near you anytime soon…

    • sweatshopking
    • 8 years ago

    is anyone currently bandwidth constrained on their desktop memory? I realize this might be slightly faster, but for my uses, ddr3 is pretty damn fast (i’m still on 2). I just dont see a major compelling reason to upgrade besides lower gb/$, which this won’t have for a few years. I don’t know the power consumption exact figures, but i don’t recall ram being a power monster either. While i’m always happy to see technology improve, i just don’t think i’ll be “wild cat’ing” on these…

      • OneArmedScissor
      • 8 years ago

      Fast RAM starts to use quite a bit more power, just like fast CPUs. DDR4 goes very high speeds at only 1.2v, which is quite a bit lower than even DDR3L.

      It’s useless for desktops, but will be needed for laptops running next generation integrated graphics.

      Really low power devices like “ultrabooks” on down will use LPDDR, so this is really for things that actually need high speed RAM, which will be in high demand very soon.

      It’s also a necessity for servers, which may have dozens of RAM modules. It’s such a leap ahead in bandwidth that it could even reduce the number of CPU sockets needed, which would be a huge power and cost reduction.

        • rrr
        • 8 years ago

        APU + DDR4 sounds like a nifty low power, low noise machine then.

          • chuckula
          • 8 years ago

          I would hope so since you won’t be buying one until 2015 at the earliest.

            • rrr
            • 8 years ago

            “According to an iSuppli report posted last year, DDR4 won’t have a significant slice of the DRAM module market until 2014. iSuppli expects DDR4 to account for a whopping 56% of that market in 2015, though.”

            Reading comprehension fail.

            • chuckula
            • 8 years ago

            No, I read perfectly, you just don’t know how memory works. You need to have a motherboard to actually plug the DDR4 memory into you know… and no, you can’t just plug it into any existing motherboard.
            You specifically went out of your way to mention an “APU” based system. Do you seriously think that AMD is going to trip over itself to be an insane early adopter of DDR4 memory in 2014 when the memory will be very expensive for its platform that is designed to be three things: cheap, cheap & cheap?

            • rrr
            • 8 years ago

            And if they expect to have 56% market share in 2015, how exactly are they going to go about it without anything to plug those modules in as you suggest? Are they going to release them in the same year and expect people to jump overnight just because it’s a new tech? Somehow, I don’t think so.

            And since you could infer that from transitions DDR->DDR2 or DDR2->DDR3 (which didn’t exactly happen overnight either), you either fail at reading comprehension or logical thinking. By now I don’t know which and I’m in no hurry to find out. Fix that for yourself.

            • chuckula
            • 8 years ago

            Funny you should mention the transition to DDR3 since AMD waited to put out its first DDR3 enabled motherboards LONG after Intel had already done so.

            Edit: For some facts on this, Intel’s first DDR3 supported chipset was the P35 that was released in June of 2007. The AM3 socket with DDR3 support didn’t appear until February of 2009 so that’s a 20 month lead that Intel had in introducing DDR3 support. Don’t expect anything different for DDR4.

            Considering DDR4 is supposed to hit 56% *in* 2015, which could mean the fourth quarter of 2015 for all you know, it would be 100% feasible for Intel to be the only game in town for DDR4 in all of 2015 and for AMD to only come out with low-end DDR4 parts in 2016! Go back and look at the *real* history you are quoting and look at AMD’s own strategy instead of relying on wishful thinking.

            • Bensam123
            • 8 years ago

            You are waaaay too literal.

            • khands
            • 8 years ago

            Depends entirely on how much bang for the buck they can get for higher bandwidth, some places say Llano is bandwidth starved, Trinity will also likely be, who knows, we might actually see early DDR4 adoption from AMD yet.

      • Stargazer
      • 8 years ago

      I could sell you some memory for a really low Gb/$ if you want. I’m willing to drop almost all the way down to 0.

        • entropy13
        • 8 years ago

        I see what you did there.

      • bcronce
      • 8 years ago

      The smaller your transistors the lower the voltage *must* be, otherwise you burn them out. This means if you want denser memory, you eventually need lower voltage. DDR3 must work within a given voltage range.

      DDR3 may only get so dense before you need a new spec for cheaper denser memory.

      At first it will be expensive and they will talk about how fast it is, but really it is the next evolutionary step for more cheaper memory.

        • sweatshopking
        • 8 years ago

        i realize that, but i just don’t currently find that my ram is a major bottleneck, or something i’m needing to upgrade. Maybe i’m alone, but between gaming, and internet usage, i don’t have issues with my memory.

          • odizzido
          • 8 years ago

          I don’t think many people have worried about ram for a long time…..unless it was with laptops and you are trying to max your battery life.

          • bcronce
          • 8 years ago

          “i just don’t currently find that my <insert computer part> is a major bottleneck, or something i’m needing to upgrade”

          This has always came up since the 1980s. “Why should we”. Well, look where we are now. Quad core CPUs with 2GB of ram in an f’n cell phone. Progress must continue.

            • JustAnEngineer
            • 8 years ago

            This has mostly been true since the Xbox arrived and stifled nearly all progress on game engines.

          • funko
          • 8 years ago

          i hit issues with my 8GB RAM systems for the first time within the past 6 months without even loading up my modern games – just with surfing, and general casual productivity use on my C2Q system, so when I upgrade this year to a new system 16GB will be a must, which is fine for now, as its possible to even get 32GB of ram with 4 sticks for $200, but i think by 2015 its plausible for me to think that the systems being sold then should be able to handle at least 64GB of ram. Its just reassuring that progress is being made today, so that we don’t hit bottlenecks in the future, sort of like how we did with HDD’s.

      • Flying Fox
      • 8 years ago

      When it comes to laptop, tablets, and especially smartphones, every bit of power saving helps.

        • derFunkenstein
        • 8 years ago

        New types of RAM also seems to be where densities climb, though maybe I’m off base on that one.

    • yogibbear
    • 8 years ago

    Hmmmm…. do I delay my upgrade till Haswell…. mehbeh…

    Though probably won’t even be living at home and based out of some shoebox in South Korea so… my PC will be an ultrabook picked up on the cheap in the transit lounge of some crappy south east asian airport.

      • Farting Bob
      • 8 years ago

      Haswell will likely still be DDR3 from what info has been revealed/rumoured, maybe the server version of it will support DDR4 on some chips. But your looking at the one after Haswell before DDR4 hits mainstream support i would suggest. And RAM isnt usually the bottleneck. DDR3 is good enough and very cheap, no point holding back just for a new type of RAM.

    • OneArmedScissor
    • 8 years ago

    I’m curious if it’s going to be made with high-k gates by the time PC CPUs actually use it. That’s even finding its way into NAND, but I haven’t seen anyone mention it.

    • Ifalna
    • 8 years ago

    I bet it won’t be compatible with Z77 Chipsets, so there is no need for DDR4 until Haswell. Whether Intel will even use DDR4 or stick to DDR3 for another generation remains to be seen.

      • OneArmedScissor
      • 8 years ago

      It can’t be compatible. That would take an entirely new CPU, and they aren’t going to bother on the same socket. It won’t work with the PC version of Haswell, either.

      They’ll probably introduce it with the Xeon version of Haswell.

      Broadwell might move completely to a multi-chip, single package that requires yet another socket, so maybe it will have DDR4.

        • Shadowdane
        • 8 years ago

        Currently it is rumored to make it to mainstream with the 14nm Skylake CPU – [url<]http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Skylake_(microarchitecture)[/url<]

      • chuckula
      • 8 years ago

      I don’t know what this “bet” thing is… I *know* it’s not compatible and so does everyone else! Haswell is sticking with DDR3 too simply because DDR4 will likely be wicked expensive in 2013. All of this is publicly available information so it’s not exactly secret.

      This announcement does not mean Micron will flood the market with DDR4 tomorrow, it just means that Micron is now making engineering sample chips for the RAM makers to test so that they’ll have validated memory ready to ship once the first DDR4 platforms finally become available.

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