With each new standard in memory, speeds just keep getting faster and faster while voltages are getting lower and lower. With the transition to DDR3 slowly nearing completion, the JEDEC have released some information on the next-generation DDR4 standard.
Starting from the current highest (standard anyways) speed of 2133MHz, the DDR4 specification will have a range up to a blistering 4266MHz. In addition to this, primary running voltages will be down to 1.2v and 1.1v, with even as low as 1.05v being considered as well.
In order to reach these outstanding data rates, a switch from multi-drop bus to point-to-point technology has been made. Unfortunately, this change is not without its drawbacks. The main issue presented is that memory channels will only be able to support one module each.
This problem primarily raises concern in the server and other sectors which require lots of memory usage, though high-end enthusiasts may wonder as well. Developers have thus far proposed two possible approaches. The first involves simply working on increasing module densities, making use of multi-layer techniques and through silicon via (TSV) technology. The other proposal is to implement a sort of switch system on motherboards to enable multiple modules to make use of a single channel.
While the specification is expected to be released in 2011 and preliminary production to begin late 2012, makers don't expect a true push for transition to begin until some time in 2015. Seeing as the transition from DDR2 to DDR3 has already taken quite some time, this isn't too surprising with the new challenges presented by the DDR4 technology and specification.
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