It sure doesn’t feel like it’s been four full years since DDR3 memory first hit the consumer market, but indeed it has been. That being the case, it shouldn’t come as too much of a surprise that DDR4 is en route, though at this point, we may not see it become available for another year. Nonetheless, to show us what it’s been working on in the lab, Crucial decided to show off a working DDR4 module at CES.
This is about as prototype as it gets. Crucial wouldn’t admit what hardware was being used in this makeshift PC, and it’s no surprise. DDR4 controllers are not yet available, so it’s hard to say if the company conjured up a solution of its own, or if it happens to be running on extremely early engineering samples made possible by Intel. Alright, none of this matters – what does, is a couple of details Crucial discussed.
Its DDR4 sample was running at DDR4-2133 speeds, equipped with DDR3-level latencies. As JEDEC spec supports a maximum speed of DDR4-3200, this is quite modest, though it’s 2x the launch speed of DDR3 (1066). This effectively means that our DDR4-equipped systems should have at least double the memory performance than what we saw at DDR3 launch – or better, depending on other architectural changes that were made.
DDR4, like previous generations, continues to improve on power-efficiency. DDR1 had a reference voltage of 2.5V; DDR2, 1.8V and DDR3, 1.5V. DDR4? 1.2V. It’s likely that after launch, memory companies will release low-voltage offerings that bring us down to 1.0V, or even less. In power consumption alone, the difference between DDR1 and DDR4 is stark.
As AnandTech relays, DDR4 will also bring about larger memory chips. The standard chip size will be 4Gb (512MB), which means a single-sided stick will settle in at 4GB – sticks that should cost about the same as DDR3 2GB sticks after DDR4 has time to settle on the market.
(Click for full infographic)
To coincide with the announcement of its DDR4 module, Crucial created an infographic that’s well worth checking out if you love geek specs about hardware. It covers everything from pin counts, voltages, increases in performance and other fun facts.