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The world is getting ready for DDR-II incoming in the second quarter next year, meanwhile some memory makers continue to pump up the speed of existing DDR technology. Corsair Memory today released the world’s fastest memory modules able to function at 550MHz – a 37.5% increase over 400MHz standard.

Earlier this year OCZ Technology and GeIL started to compete with each other in producing the fastest DDR memory modules certified to function at speeds beyond 500MHz. Corsair’s top offering have been 500MHz memory modules for quite a while. It appears that this was only a matter of time when Corsair Memory will be here with its products function at speeds more than 500MHz.

Generally, it is not too hard to find memory silicon functioning at speeds of 550MHz and faster, as graphics cards makers, for instance, clock DDR SDRAM at 700MHz – 900MHz without any substantial problems. Nowadays graphics cards utilize memory in BGA packaging that allows better cooling and shorter interconnections between PCB and chip. System memory modules are built upon chips in TSOP packaging – a type of packaging that does not provide the mentioned benefits. The main issue with random access system memory is to make it run with relatively low voltages, latencies and heat-dissipation stably on the majority of platforms. As a consequence, memory modules capable of working at higher frequencies are quite expensive.

Next year the industry will start the adoption of DDR-II memory that will allow speeds of up to 667MHz without any serious cost related issues. The industry standard for DDR memory is only 400MHz, though, this year memory makers are conquering 533MHz milestone – a DDR-II speed-bin – with their DDR-based products.

Today Corsair Memory left 533MHz behind with its XMS4400 products running at 550MHz. The two new parts – TwinX1024-4400 and CMX512-4400 – will begin shipping immediately. Both SKUs are expected to be available from resellers worldwide with either black or platinum colored aluminum heat spreaders.

Corsair designed these new modules to support clock-speeds that are 10% faster than the company’s current flagship XMS4000 products. To select the fastest available components Corsair’s Compatibility Lab performed exhaustive benchmark tests on a broad range of RAM chips from a multitude of different chip makers.

Every XMS module built must pass a stringent battery of tests at its rated speed before being shipped. XMS4400 modules are tested at 550MHz with 3-4-4-8 latency settings at 2.75V. All XMS4400 modules are tested in an ASUS P4C800-E mainboard based on the i875P “Canterwood” chipset. TwinX kits are tested as a matched pair and physically packaged together immediately after passing test, guaranteeing that the customer receives a product that has been verified in the dual-channel environment.

Pricing of the parts was not unveiled by press time.


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