Intel Corp., the world’s largest supplier of x86 central processing units and supporting chipsets, has begun to publish details about next-generation DDR3 memory chips that are certified to be compatible with the company’s forthcoming core-logic sets. So far seven of the world’s top dynamic random access memory suppliers have received validation from Intel.
So far Elpida Memory, Hynix Semiconductor, Micron Technology, Qimonda AG, Nanya and Samsung Electronics have received validation of their DDR3 memory chips from Intel. The list of validated memory modules is currently located at Intel’s web-site, days before the company plans to release its new platforms that use the new type of DRAM.
So far Intel has validated 512Mb and 1Gb memory chips with 800MHz and 1066MHz clock-speeds as well as CL5 5-5, CL6 6-6, CL7 7-7 or even CL8 8-8 latency settings. Specifications of Intel-validated memory components seem to be very conservative, as initially the company’s P35 and G33 chipsets will only support PC3-8500 (DDR3 1066MHz) memory, while more advanced X38 core-logic is set to support PC3-10600 (DDR3 1333MHz) memory speed in the third quarter of the year.
DDR3 memory is designed to increase performance and lower power consumption of DDR2 memory utilized today. The new memory standard features relatively low operating voltage of 1.5V, 8-bit pre-fetch architecture (compared to 4-bit pre-fetch buffer with DDR2), on-die termination (ODT), power-saving modes known as PASR (partial array self refresh) and ASR (auto self refresh) and some other capabilities.
The DDR3 memory will be able to operate at up to 1600MHz, but in the exchange for enhanced latencies of CAS (column address strobe) 5 to 10 (compared to CAS 3-6 on DDR2). Even though CL7 latency setting is considerably higher compared to CL5 of DDR2 at the same frequency, improved pre-fetch and other technical advantages of DDR3 versus DDR2 may help the new memory type to be as fast or even faster compared to the previous-gen one.
Demand for DDR3 is expected to emerge towards the end of the year. According to market research firm iSuppli, DDR3 will account for 25% of total DRAM shipments by the end of 2008 and dominate the market by 2010.
Source:Intel Initiates Widespread DDR3 Memory Chips Validation Ahead of New Platform Launch.