The DDR5 RAM modules are getting closer and closer, and finally we started to have concrete data about their capabilities, as well as an approximate date so that they start arriving first at the servers and then at the home computers. The DDR5 will start arriving during 2019, and will be up to twice as fast as the DDR4.
The Joint Electronic Devices Engineering Council (JEDEC) is the standardization body responsible for regulating global standards for the microelectronics industry. It has not yet finalized an industry standard for DDR5 memory, but we already know some data while the first manufacturer announces having a functional prototype.
Twice as fast as the previous standard
For starters, DDR5 is expected to double DDR4 data rates, from 3.2 GB / s to 6.4 GB / s, also doubling its maximum transfer rate of 25.6 GB / s from DDR4. current to a maximum of 51.2 GB / s. They are also expected to be around 20% more efficient and allow the increase of memory channels up to 16, so that manufacturers can get configurations that go from the current 64 GB up to 128 GB.
The JEDEC has also confirmed that the base frequency for the DDR5 RAM will be DDR5-4800. This may not be too surprising considering that today’s fastest DDR4 memories achieve the 4600 MHz, but considering that they started from the DDR4-2400, it is expected that with time the DDR5 can also significantly increase the frequencies according to go spending time.
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The new standard that JEDEC is preparing will also lower the 64-bit link to 1.1V, and the 16-bit and 8-bit 16-bit burst lengths. In addition, the DDR5 will allow voltage regulators to be mounted directly on the memory modules themselves rather than having to go on the motherboard as it does today.
The big unknown for now about this technology is still the price, which is expected to be quite high. We already told you that the price differences were causing some current computers to continue mounting DDR3 memories instead of DDR4, so we will have to see to what extent the prices of the new memories that will arrive from 2019 are a problem to the time to start implementing the new standard.
Rambus already has its first functional prototype
Rambus is one of the first manufacturers that have announced that they already have a functional DDR5 DIMM memory prototype. They say they expect to start mass production in 2019, and that they want to be the first to put it on the market.
“This is the first prototype memory chip with silicon-tested memory capable of reaching the speeds required for the next DDR5 standard,” said Luc Seraphin, senior vice president and general manager of Rambus. “Data-intensive applications, such as Big Datas analytics and “machine learning” will be the main drivers of the adoption of DDR5.”
Other manufacturers such as Corsair and G.Skill have not yet announced having prototypes. Even so, the logical thing would be that once the first manufacturer begins to market them, the rest will not take too long to follow in their footsteps. We will continue to watch to see when these releases occur.