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Hefty price premium awaits early DDR4 memory adopters

Agam Shah | Sept. 30, 2013
New DDR4 memory will have a 30 percent price premium over DDR3 next year

But DDR4 for servers, laptops and mobile devices will be around for a long time as no successor is under development, Howard said.

"It will be the last DDR iteration," Howard said.

Technologies like phase-change memory, RRAM (resistive RAM) and MRAM (magnetoresistive RAM) are under development, and one of these technologies will eventually replace DDR. Meanwhile, 3D memory chip stacking may bridge the gap until a successor emerges, Howard said.

Three-dimensional chip stacking improves memory bandwidth and power efficiency is by piling DRAM chips on one another, as is being done in NAND flash and microprocessors. Micron earlier this week shipped its Hybrid Memory Cube product, which is a 2GB memory module with four 4GB, DDR3 DRAM stacked chips. The stacked memory is closer to the CPU, which speeds up data transfer.

Nvidia also plans to use stacked memory in a future graphics processor code-named Volta, which the chip maker says will offer faster graphics performance.

The excitement around DDR4 may be muted, but laptop users will see benefits of the memory in the coming years, Howard said.

"All users care about is the performance going up and the prices going down," Howard said.

 

 

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