When Intel’s Xeon E5-2600 v3 series drops in Q3, it’s going to bring with it a number of notable features; the biggest of which is the architecture boost from Ivy Bridge to Haswell. In addition to an increase of maximum cores (14, from 12) and cache (35MB, from 30MB), E5 v3 will become Intel’s first processor series to support DDR4.
Micron’s production 4Gb DDR4 chip
Just as DDR3 brought lower voltages and higher throughput in comparison to DDR2, DDR4 brings the same versus DDR3. At launch, frequencies will start at DDR4-2133, but over time, that should rise to about DDR4-4266. Further, DDR4’s peak voltage matches DDR3’s minimum voltage, of 1.2v. That of course means that DDR4 in time will go lower, with official specs showing the minimum as 1.05v.
A production Micron DDR4 module
At launch, Micron will offer modules in 4GB, 8GB, 16GB, and 32GB densities, all clocked at DDR4-2133. The company notes that DDR4-2400 will be made available at some point in 2015. ADATA has also announced that it will be making DDR4 available for the upcoming Xeon launch, with densities ranging 4GB~16GB per DIMM. For quite some time, Kingston has been showing-off its early DDR4, so I’d be willing to bet that it will also have modules available at the same time as the other guys.
A Micron DDR4 SODIMM module
As the above photo proves, DDR4 is destined for a lot more than just full-sized DIMMs in servers. Micron announces that it will produce DDR4 RDIMMs, LRDIMMs, VLP RDIMMs, UDIMMs (seen two images above), SODIMMs (ECC and non-ECC), as well as x4, x8, and x16 components.
When will we see DDR4 on the enthusiast side? It’s been rumored for some time that support could come with Haswell-E, which is due no earlier than this fall. But given DDR4’s infancy is set to kick-off alongside the Xeon launch in Q3, it’s not certain at this point whether or not DDR4-enabled platforms will launch with Haswell-E. Instead, we might not see DDR4 capabilities available to enthusiasts until 2015. For now, all we can do is speculate. The next couple of months are sure to bring greater clarity.