IDF: "DDR3 won't catch up with DDR2 during 2009"

19 Aug 2008

Faster memory is arriving awfully slowly.

An Intel strategist believes that DDR3 sales will not overtake DDR2 until the very end of 2009.

Strategic Business Manager Carlos Weissenberg, speaking at the Intel Developer Forum in San Francisco, revealed internal projections that DDR2 will remain dominant for another sixteen months before DDR3 finally supersedes it in the market.

DDR3 will receive a boost next year with the introduction of low-voltage modules, capable of running at 1.35V instead of the current 1.5V standard. This will strengthen the appeal of DDR3 for low-power systems.

But Weissenberg acknowledged that DDR3 has so far been held back by its price, and did not foresee significant price drops any time soon. He suggested that the technology would only reach price parity with DDR2 when it also reached parity in terms of demand.

"Aggressive transition" to DDR3

Despite DDR3's slow ascent, Intel is firmly committed to the technology. "We are working with memory suppliers on an aggressive transition," Weissenberg announced. "All our future chipsets will support DDR3, and the Nehalem microarchitecture will be DDR3-only."

Guest speaker Tom Trill, senior director of marketing for memory manufacturer Qimonda, echoed his sentiments. "DDR3 now has critical mass," he told delegates. "It's here. Period." He also revealed that 16GB and even 32GB DIMMs are on his company's manufacturing roadmap.

Looking forward to DDR4

The session concluded with a look ahead to DDR4. DDR4 is as yet more a wish list than a formal specification, but Trill predicted that initial DDR4 modules would go on sale in 2012, with a bus frequency of 2,133MHz and an operating voltage of 1.2V. By 2013, he expected to see 2,667MHz modules running at just 1.0V.

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