Leading makers of DRAM predict their DDR2 output to crossover with DDR output sometimes in the middle of 2005. Fuelled by Intel’s rapid transition of its chipsets for desktops, workstations, servers and mobile computers to DDR2, the production of this memory type is expected to leave DDR behind in the second half.
Samsung Electronics, the world’s largest maker of dynamic random access memory, said it expected to ship more DDR2 devices than DDR devices in the Q3 2005. The firm will exit the year with DDR2 representing 44% of its memory chip shipments, according to PCWorld.com web-site. Micron Technology will also reach DDR and DDR2 shipments crossover point, while Infineon Technologies plans to boost DDR2 production in the current quarter to about 20% of its total shipments. Nanya Technology plans to allocate up to 50% of its capacity for DDR2 production by the end of the second quarter, according to a report from DigiTimes web-site.
While other major makers of DRAM, such as Hynix Semiconductor and Elpida Memory, have not yet released their DDR2 SDRAM transition plans, usually all key DRAM makers demonstrate similar roadmaps when it comes to mainstream types of memory, as all of them have to forecast the demand for DRAM based on indications from logic giants, such as Intel Corp..
DDR2 memory products utilize FBGA memory chips for better stability, thermal efficiency, enhanced scalability and better overclockability. Additionally, DDR2 components themselves have some micro-architectural changes from the original DDR specs, such as, Off-Chip Driver calibration (OCD), On-Die Termination (ODT) as well as larger 4-bit prefetch, additive latency, and enhanced registers.
The main advantage of DDR2 SDRAM is strong chip yield at relatively high clock-speeds of 500MHz and above, however, DDR2 memory has higher latencies compared to DDR and thus does not provide serious performance benefits compared to DDR at current frequencies amid significant price increase over DDR, or do not provide any advantage at all.
Due to relatively high cost of DDR2 memory modules compared to DDR DIMMs, the DDR2 got lukewarm welcome from the mainstream market. Actual current market share of DDR2 memory is unclear, but it is believed that it is not that large. Still, as the prices for DDR2 chips decrease, the DRAM type is likely to be adopted by more and more customers worldwide.
In mid-January, 2005, DRAMeXchange, one of the premier online exchanges for dynamic random access memory, initiated coverage of spot-prices for DDR2 SDRAM, which may indicate that the new type of memory is becoming more and more popular on the market place.