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Elpida Memory announced that it had shipped its first dual in-line memory modules (DIMMs) that incorporate the company’s DDR3 memory chips to Intel Corp. for evaluation with the latter’s platforms that support next-generation memory. The announcement proves the industry’s firm intentions to deploy DDR3 SDRAM.

“The availability of these samples allows systems developers such as Intel to evaluate new features and GHz-class performance across all DIMM sockets on the motherboard with the memory controller and the processor,” said Jun Kitano, director of technical marketing for Elpida Memory (USA).

The industry’s first 512MB and 1GB DIMMs that utilize next-generation DDR3 memory chips has a 240-pin form-factor, which is different to the 240-pin memory modules used today along with the DDR2 memory. The module carries memory chips with 1.2ns access time, is rated to operate at 1066MHz with 1.5V voltage settings.


Elpida's DDR3 DIMM. Click to enlarge

Earlier this year Advanced Micro Devices indicated in a law-suit against Intel Corp. that the latter proposed to “adopt a pin definition similar to that used for the DDR2 memory modules,” which would allow DDR3 memory controllers to be compatible with DDR2 and DDR3 memory modules. When asked to clarify whether DDR3 controllers would truly be compatible with the DDR2 DIMMs, AMD could not respond. Now that the first DDR3 modules feature different form-factor, it is unlikely that it would be compatible with the DDR2.

In addition to micro-architectural advantages DDR2 memory brings over the original DDR memory, such as, On-Die Termination (ODT) as well as larger 4-bit prefetch, additive latency, and enhanced registers, the DDR3 features self-driver calibration and data synchronization.

Elpida said that the first DDR3 module samples have been delivered to Intel. Engineering samples will be available to all customers in 2006, and volume production will begin in accordance with market demand, according to the company.

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