Japanese subsidiary of Buffalo Technology Inc., a leading maker of advanced memory modules and other electronics, has announced the world's first memory modules based on DDR3 chips. While there are several months to go till the first DDR3-supporting platforms will emerge on the market,
DDR3 memory is designed to increase performance and lower power consumption of DDR2 memory utilized today. The new memory standard features relatively low operating voltage of 1.5V, 8-bit pre-fetch architecture (compared to 4-bit pre-fetch buffer with DDR2), on-die termination (ODT), power-saving modes known as PASR (partial array self refresh) and ASR (auto self refresh) and some other capabilities. The memory will be able to operate at up to 1600MHz, but in the exchange for enhanced latencies of CAS (column address strobe) 5 to 10 (compared to CAS 3-6 on DDR2).
The first Intel 3-series chipset-based mainboards to support DDR3 memory will be unveiled later during the year, presumably in late Q2 or early Q3. However, given that there will be motherboards running the same G35 or P35 chipsets with DDR2 support and considering the fact that currently 2GB DDR2 PC2-8500 memory kit costs from $221 to $334 (based on numbers from Pricewatch for the U.S.), it is unclear whether there will be a lot of die-hard technology enthusiasts who would pay nearly $1200 for the same amount of memory.
It is unclear when DDR3 memory modules are set to become available in Europe, USA and other regions.