Advanced Micro Devices May Not Bring DDR2 Support in 2005

AMD Puts DDR2 Memory Controller on Hold for Now – Article

by Anton Shilov
01/17/2005 | 03:16 PM

Leading chipmaker Advanced Micro Devices may not adopt DDR2 SDRAM this year, according to a report from a web-site. While some expected AMD to introduce microprocessors which memory controllers would support DDR2 in 2005, the firm is likely to put the introduction forward when, as the company says, it will make sense.


A news-story over The Inquirer web-site claims Advanced Micro Devices’ microprocessors will not support DDR2 memory in 2005. The article also says AMD is unlikely to support DDR2 by its processors in PGA940 and PGA939 form-factors, in spite expectations, but DDR2 memory controller will be incorporated into central processing units from Advanced Micro Devices with 1207-pins coming out in 2006.

Advanced Micro Devices neither confirms, nor denies the possible movement in its plans.

“AMD has not given an official specific when we will have support for DDR2 with AMD64 processors. Our direction has been that when DDR2 makes sense for AMD and our customers, we’ll bring support to the market. There are many factors to be considered, such as cost, performance (frequency/latency), availability and other items that are all being balanced to determine how we will support DDR2,” a spokesperson for AMD told X-bit labs.

Historically AMD Athlon, AMD Athlon XP, AMD Athlon 64 and AMD Opteron central processing units benefited a lot from very low latency memory rather than from ultimately high clock-speeds of RAM, unlike Intel Pentium 4 processors, that prosper from tremendous memory bandwidth. Intel’s i915P, i915G and i925X chipsets launched Q2 2004 sported dual-channel DDR2 at 533MHz memory; however, even for Intel’s chips 533MHz memory with relatively high latencies could not give any substantial performance improvement over conventional DDR memory at 400MHz. Future Intel’s core-logic, such as code-named Alderwood that is presumably to be branded as i955X, are projected to support DDR2 PC2-5300 memory that operates at 667MHz.

While some leading memory makers, such as Crucial, Corsair and OCZ Technology, sell memory modules capable of working at 667MHz, they cost significantly more compared to typical DDR2 modules at 533MHz, which are also pretty expensive.

It is unclear whether AMD has plans to support any overclocked types of DDR SDRAM, such as so-called DDR500, which are available from module makers like Crucial, OCZ Technology and numerous others. Last year some unofficial sources claimed AMD may support high-speed DDR memory, which is not officially ratified by JEDEC, but AMD did not unveil any such capabilities along with its chips for Socket 939 infrastructure.