Micron provides DDR4 details for servers, high-end desktops

Micron is showing DDR4 memory at the Consumer Electronics Show this year. The company had a DDR4 demo last year, too, and the new one isn't much different. However, the next-gen memory type is closer to market, and the company shared some details about when we can expect the first modules.

DDR4 memory for servers will start selling in the spring. The initial modules will target early adopters, and they'll be available directly from Crucial's website, among other sources. (Crucial is a Micron brand.) Micron expects a lot of interest from the high-performance computing crowd. It's also launched a technology enablement program to put modules in the hands of folks developing DDR4-capable systems.

The first DDR4 parts targeted at high-end desktop systems won't arrive until later this year, probably the fall. Micron is actively sampling these modules, and it sounds like platform availability will determine the final street date. We'll probably see those modules attached to Intel's upcoming Haswell-E platform, which is rumored to support DDR4 and arrive in the latter half of the year.

At least initially, the desktop modules will come in 4GB and 8GB capacities. Micron has parts with 2133 MT/s and 2400 MT/s transfer rates right now. The company says its chips should push into 3000-MT/s territory when supplied with sufficient voltage, though. The DDR4 specification calls for only 1.2V, but Micron's chips can apparently handle more than that. Of course, the associated platforms may impose memory voltage limitations that effectively curtail DDR4 frequencies, at least for the first wave of modules. Those limitations shouldn't stop overclockers willing to turn up clock speeds and voltages themselves.

Looking forward, Micron expects DDR4 memory to move into notebooks and more conventional desktop rigs in late 2015. That time frame could move forward or back, the company says. Again, it's beholden to platform availability. 2015 will also be the year that Micron starts populating modules with 8Gbit memory chips. Those monster chips will double the capacity of current offerings, and they'll be available in both DDR3 and DDR4 flavors.

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