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Intel Corp. has initiated validation of DDR3 memory modules for usage with the company’s 4-series chipsets for mobile applications that will power Intel Centrino 2 laptops. The DDR3 memory may eventually enable higher performance at lower power consumption, but initially presence of DDR3 in a laptop is likely to be mainly a feature to attract attention.

At this time Intel validates 512MB, 1GB and 2GB DDR3 SO-DIMMs at 800MHz and 1066MHz clock-speeds that are based on 1Gb memory chips. So far Intel has validated various memory modules from Elpida, Hynix, Micron, Nanya, Qimonda and Samsung Electronics on Intel GM45 chipset based reference platforms.

Intel validated 1066MHz DDR3 (PC3-8500) SO-DIMMs have CL7 7-7 or CL8 8-8 latency settings, whereas 800MHz DDR3 (PC3-6400) SO-DIMMs sport CL5 5-5 or CL6 6-6 timings. Earlier the world’s largest maker of x86 chips recommended to set CL5 5-5 latency settings on 800MHz DDR2 (PC2-6400) SO-DIMMs.

According to performance measurements by X-bit labs, PC3-8500 CL7 desktop memory sub-system is slightly faster compared to PC2-6400 CL5, which leaves behind PC3-6400 CL5 by a tiny margin.

Even though DDR3 hardly had many advantages over DDR2 today in terms of performance, in laptops presence of DDR3 may translate into a little lower power consumption and a little higher battery life not only because lower voltages required by DDR3, but also because of more advanced Intel PM45 and Intel GM45 core-logic sets.

Intel Centrino 2 platform for laptops, which was earlier code-named Montevina, is projected to be launched in the middle of the year. Intel Centrino 2-based notebooks will feature code-named Echo Peak Wi-Fi/WiMAX controller combo or code-named Shirley Peak Wi-Fi controller. The former will allow to connect not only to wireless local area networks (WLANs), but also to wide-area networks (WANs), a valuable feature in countries and cities with WiMAX coverage. In addition, Intel Centrino 2 will support faster microprocessors and will enable generally higher performance.

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