Crucial, a leading supplier of memory modules and NAND flash-based devices, introduced its first DDR4 SDRAM modules at CES 2013. The company intends to start shipments of DDR4 memory to interested parties in late 2013; though, it is hard to expect those shipments to be truly high-volume as the first systems that will use DDR4 are expected to hit the market in 2014.
Crucial’s DDR4 memory modules are based on Micron’s 4Gb x8 memory chips produced using 30nm technology. The new Crucial DDR4 DRAM modules are operating at 1.2V, which is 20% lower voltage than previous DDR3 technology. At the Consumer Electronics Show this week Crucial demonstrated prototypes of its enthusiast-oriented Ballistix DDR4 memory modules operating at effective 2133MHz clock-speed.
The company used a special testbed, which run Windows operating system, with unknown hardware inside to demonstrate the operation of its next-generation memory modules, an obvious indication that Intel Corp.’s DDR4 test platforms are not yet ready for a public demo. In fact, the module was not even installed directly into a socket, but used some sort of an adapter so to plug in an oscilloscope to show the signals.
Crucial's DDR4 test system. Image by BCCHardware web-site.
“With DDR4 data rates already twice that of DDR3 when it was introduced, Crucial Ballistix is the ideal showcase for Micron’s latest generation of DRAM. Other benefits, including reduced voltage compared to DDR3, will make DDR4 an important advancement in memory technology that will benefit computing systems that range from the personal computer to the data center,” said Jim Jardine, director of DRAM product marketing at Crucial.
Eventually, Crucial’s portfolio of DDR4-based modules will include RDIMMs, LRDIMMs, SODIMMs and UDIMMs (standard and ECC). New DDR4 DRAM modules are expected to ship in late 2013.
“The initial readiness of our DDR4 product portfolio represents a big step forward in terms of power and performance improvements for our customers. A variety of speed and density options enable leading edge modules for the most demanding applications,” said Robert Feurle, vice president for Micron's DRAM marketing.