DDR3 IS SLOWLY but surely starting to take over from DDR2 as the mainstream memory type and this means that the memory manufacturers are shifting more and more of their production to DDR3. Samsung has announced that it has begun mass production of its new 32nm DDR3 memory in capacities of up to 2Gbit, or 256MB per chip.
In practical terms this means that we should be seeing more affordable 2 and 4GB DDR3 DIMMs in the consumer market space. The new 32nm DDR3 memory chips operate at a low 1.35V which is 150mV lower than the current standard DDR3 modules at 1.5V, although this is limited to speeds of up to 1866MHz. Samsung claims its new modules will also operate at a mere 1.5V all the way up to an impressive 2133MHz.
This should be good news for overclockers, although you can already get memory modules that operate at 2133MHz, these DIMMS require at least 1.65V. This suggests that the new Samsung 30nm DDR3 memory chips might be able to run even faster with additional power and suitable cooling. However, Samsung isn’t primarily targeting overclockers with its new DDR3 chips; instead Samsung is going after the very lucrative server market.
Samsung claims a 65 percent reduction in power usage over “50nm-class” DDR3 DIMMs, even comparing a 4GB 32nm DIMM to a 2GB 50nm-class DIMM. This would of course require a server that can take advantage of the low power DIMMs based on Samsung’s new memory chips, as not all systems would automatically use less power just because the memory modules can draw less power.
Samsung is using slightly confusing language in its press release, as rather than to say its new memory chips are built on 32nm technology, Samsung prefers the term 30nm-class which makes it sound more advanced than it is. We might be nit-picking here, but we prefer when companies keep details straight.
By the end of the year, Samsung should start manufacturing memory chips with twice the density at 4Gbit – or 512MB if you prefer – which should see 4GB DIMMs becoming mainstream products with 8GB and beyond becoming a reality for consumer PCs. In the server market space Samsung is readying 16GB RDIMMs and we’ll even be seeing 8GB So-DIMMs for notebooks. You can never have enough RAM, right?S|A
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