Feeds

DDR 4 sets the pace for fast memory

Ramping up the Ram

Intelligent flash storage arrays

Extreme Hardware Reducing the size of chips has benefits beyond those seen in CPUs and GPUs. One other key component to gain an advantage is memory.

The specification of the next generation of memory module, DDR 4 (DDR stands for 'double data rate'), is currently being finalised ahead of its anticipated launch later this year. It will use less power than today's DDR 3 and is based on a 32-36nm fabrication process, the numbers referring to the width of transistors used in the chip.

The first generation of DDR4 modules will run on a voltage of 1.2V, compared with DDR3's 1.5V requirement. That is expected to fall to 1.05V in later generations.

Samsung's DDR 4 DIMM

Samsung's first DDR 4 Dimm

In addition to lower power consumption, the other key advantages of DDR4 over its predecessor are higher clock frequencies and a wider range of transfer speeds.

While DDR3 was limited to transfer rates of 800-2133 million transfers per second (MT/s), the DDR 4 spec will allow for transfer rates of between 2133MT/s and 4266MT/s.

The topology, or the way components are connected to each other, of DDR4 chips is different too. While DDR 3 and its predecessors used a multi-channel setup to maximise data throughput, DDR 4 uses a point-to-point topology: each memory module has its own dedicated line to the memory controller.

One of the consequences of a point-to-point design is that every DIMM slot needs to be filled to maximise performance.

Maximum performance

The first DDR 4 module was developed by Samsung, which announced its completion in January 2011. The company claims the new DDR 4 Dram module can achieve data transfer rates of 2.133Gb/s at 1.2V, compared with 1.35V and 1.5V DDR 3 Dram at an equivalent 30nm-class process technology, with speeds of up to 1.6Gbps.

When applied to a notebook, it reduces power consumption by 40 per cent compared with a 1.5V DDR 3 module, Samsung adds.

The potential gains for a huge data centre are vast

Samsung also said that its initial DDR 4 modules would be able to run at speeds up to 3.2Gb/s, compared with a maximum of 1.6Gb/s for DDR 3.

Reduced voltage is not the only way that DDR 4 reduces power consumption. It uses an improved version of the pseudo-open drain interface seen in graphics-specific DDR 3, which draws current only when it is connected to ground and thus uses relatively little power.

Security for virtualized datacentres

More from The Register

next story
PEAK APPLE: iOS 8 is least popular Cupertino mobile OS in all of HUMAN HISTORY
'Nerd release' finally staggers past 50 per cent adoption
Apple spent just ONE DOLLAR beefing up the latest iPad Air 2
New iPads look a lot like the old one. There's a reason for that
Google Glassholes are UNDATEABLE – HP exec
You need an emotional connection, says touchy-feely MD... We can do that
Microsoft fitness bands slapped on wrists: All YOUR HEALTH DATA are BELONG TO US
Wearable will deliver 'actionable insights for healthier living'
Caterham Seven 160 review: The Raspberry Pi of motoring
Back to driving's basics with a joyously legal high
FTDI yanks chip-bricking driver from Windows Update, vows to fight on
Next driver to battle fake chips with 'non-invasive' methods
Amazon hopes FIRE STICK will light up its video service
We do streaming video? It seems we do...
prev story

Whitepapers

Why and how to choose the right cloud vendor
The benefits of cloud-based storage in your processes. Eliminate onsite, disk-based backup and archiving in favor of cloud-based data protection.
A strategic approach to identity relationship management
ForgeRock commissioned Forrester to evaluate companies’ IAM practices and requirements when it comes to customer-facing scenarios versus employee-facing ones.
High Performance for All
While HPC is not new, it has traditionally been seen as a specialist area – is it now geared up to meet more mainstream requirements?
Saudi Petroleum chooses Tegile storage solution
A storage solution that addresses company growth and performance for business-critical applications of caseware archive and search along with other key operational systems.
Choosing a cloud hosting partner with confidence
Download Choosing a Cloud Hosting Provider with Confidence to learn more about cloud computing - the new opportunities and new security challenges.