Innodisk, a small independent supplier of DRAM- and NAND flash-based products, announced on Thursday that it had started to ship samples of its DDR4 RDIMMs to server makers. The company is among the first module providers without own DRAM manufacturing to send samples of DDR4 memory sticks for servers.
Innodisk does not indicate any specifications of the DDR4 RDIMMs that it ships to its customers. However, it notes that it offers registered DIMM in capacities of 4GB, 8GB and 16GB. Besides, it claims that DDR4 will be able to work at 2133MHz – 3200MHz frequencies initially. In addition, it recons that DDR4 will operate with voltage of 1.2V, which will reduce power consumption by approximately 40% compared to existing DDR3 modules operating at 1.35V. Innodisk's DDR4 RDIMMs are based on memory chips produced by Samsung; therefore they most likely use 4Gb DDR3 chips rated to run at 2133MHz.
“Innodisk looks forward to working together with server OEMs to create the next-generation platforms that are demanded by tomorrow’s challenges,” a statement by Innodisk reads.
Leading manufacturers of dynamic random access memory (DRAM), such as Micron Technology, Samsung Electronics and others, have been supplying registered DIMMs to Intel and select server partners for evaluation for a long time now. It looks like the makers have also started to send DDR4 samples to their partners among independent module suppliers. Innodisk is among the first companies to develop RDIMMs in-house and ship them to customers, even though it is a bit too shy to talk about the actual specifications of its products.
DDR4 is being developed with a range of innovative features designed to enable high speed operation and broad applicability in a variety of applications including servers, laptops, desktop PCs and consumer products. A DDR4 voltage roadmap has been proposed that will facilitate customer migration by holding VDDQ constant at 1.2V and allowing for a future reduction in the VDD supply voltage. The per-pin data rates, over time, will be 1.6 giga transfers per second (GT/s) to an initial maximum objective of 3.2GT/s. Other performance features planned for inclusion in the standard are a pseudo open drain interface on the DQ bus, a geardown mode for 2667MHz data rates and beyond, bank group architecture, internally generated VrefDQ and improved training modes.
The new levels of performance will require a tradeoff. In DDR4 memory sub-systems every memory channel will only support one memory module. As a result, to enable highest-possible memory capacities, DRAM makers will make high-capacity DDR4 chips using through-silicon-via (TSV) technology that will allow to increase capacity of memory chips at a very fast rate. For servers, special switches will be introduced to avoid one module/one channel limitation. As a result, server platforms will be able to accommodate much higher memory capacities than they can do now thanks to new levels of module capacities.
The first server platforms to support DDR4 will be available in 2014. Client platforms will adopt DDR4 sometimes in 2015.