DDR4, the next DRAM memory standard, is expected to be massively adopted by 2014, which means that the companies behind its existence have to start showing prototypes now instead of later.
It so happens that the International Solid-State Circuits Conference (ISSCC) has just taken place (between February 19 and 23).
The conference was the perfect occasion for revealing next-generation dynamic random access memory (DRAM) chips.
TechEye reports that two companies were willing to show off their inventions.
Hynix is one of the companies with a DDR4 device. The chip works at 2400MHz (2400Mb/s) and needs a voltage of 1.2V. It bears a 64-bit I/O.
The second company to bring out a DDR4 product was Samsung. The clock frequency was of 2,133 MHz and the voltage was the same as above.
Hynix used its 38nm manufacturing process technology, while Samsung employed the 30nm node instead.
For the sake of comparison, DDR3 needs 1.3V or 1.5V to run, even if the manufacturing process is the same.
All in all, DDR4 modules are going to be not just faster, but also energy efficient, by about 40% compared to their predecessors. They won't be pin-compatible though.
Elpida, Micron and Nanya did not show DDR4 prototypes at the show, for one reason or another. There is no real rush, though, since the chips and modules aren't going to be available for a while still. Volume production will only commence in 2013, which means that mass availability is something that 2014 will bring at the earliest.
Until then, memory companies will have to deal with more pressing matters, like the low market prices of all DRAM chips and how consumers, while not at all disapproving, don't seem to be responding with much enthusiasm either. Granted, contract quotes are going up little by little now, but there is no guarantee that this trend will last.