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While the LPDDR4 standard remains on-track to be finalized in 2014, its adoption by mainstream devices will unlikely be too fast, given the traditionally high initial price and limited production. However, premium devices will likely jump on the LPDDR4 bandwagon relatively rapidly thanks to its high performance, which is up to two times higher compared to LPDDR3, amid 50% lower power consumption.

At present JEDEC is discussing LPDDR4 standard that includes 3200Mb/s data rate (3.2GHz effective clock-speed), 350mVpp max signaling with configurable termination using low-voltage swing terminated logic as well as 1.1V voltage. In addition, data bus inversion has been added to improve signal integrity. Perhaps, one of the main changes of LPDDR4 over previous-generation standards is that LPDDR4 memory die will architecturally be two-channel x16 DRAM.

"The challenge is how to achieve that energy reduction at 3200Mb/s, and the sub-committee had to look at architectural, signaling and voltage changes. […] The objective is to improve timing closure, as well as reducing internal DRAM die power,” said Hung Vuong, chairman of JEDEC's JC-42.6 subcommittee for low power memories, in a conversation with EETimes-India.

Recently JEDEC updated its LPDDR3 standard to support 2133Mb/s data rate. At present DRAM manufacturers are looking forward to extend LPDDR4 data rate to 4266Mb/s.

"Our goal was to double the bandwidth performance, but also we took a much harder look at the power usage. […] Once [desired] performance level is reached, then doing so at the best power point is the top priority " said Dan Skinner, director of architecture development at Micron Technology and a JC-42.6 Subcommittee member.

LPDDR memory is used mainly for smartphones, media tablets and various other portable devices. In fact, even the latest Apple MacBook Air also uses LPDDR3 memory to boost battery life. Since modern smartphones and slates are hungry for memory bandwidth (due to increasing performance of graphics processing units inside mobile gadgets), new LPDDR memory types with higher frequencies are likely be welcome by the market, especially by its premium part. Still, it will take several years for mainstream devices to fully adopt LPDDR4; for example, even today, about two years after finalization of LPDDR3, the majority of mobile devices use LPDDR2.

Tags: LPDDR4, JEDEC, Samsung, Micron, SK Hynix, DRAM

Discussion

Comments currently: 11
Discussion started: 12/19/13 10:07:08 AM
Latest comment: 01/02/14 07:13:13 PM
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1. 
DDR4 is primarily for servers and might be useful in some portable devices. It doesn't bring anything to the desktop because DDR3 @ 1600 MHz. is not a system bottleneck. It's like having a 10 lane highway with four cars on it that are speed governed . Extensive testing by many sources using real applications has proven there is no tangible advantage to the increased frequency above 1600 MHz. for desktop CPUs. APUs see a small increase up to ~2133 MHz.

The big disadvantages to DDR4 is cost and the change in topology that requires you install the full amount of RAM in one shot. There is no adding to DDR4 like with prior DDR RAM. It's all or nothing with DDR4 so if you decide you need more RAM you toss the old RAM and buy all new, thus paying double for expensive DDR4 RAM.
3 3 [Posted by: beenthere  | Date: 12/19/13 10:07:08 AM]
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actually it is a real bottle neck for the GPU bandwidth wise, but for the cpu it is latency bottlenecked that's why there is so much cache on the cpu. it also lowers power consumption by 50% so it will be adopted.

it can be adopted really fast in mobile phones because of the short cycle time and it is just one packed so no need for backward compatible.

for desktops/laptops there will be HMC or HBM much increase the bandwidth a lot and reduce power.maybe later it will be used in the phones.
1 1 [Posted by: massau  | Date: 12/19/13 06:21:28 PM]
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DDR4 does bring something to desktops. AMD does desperately require DDR4 because APU require more memory bandwidth than AMD have engineered. AMD should of design APUs with triple channel memory instead of two channel. DDR4 provides AMD's APU with double memory bandwidth performance compared to DDR3-1866. DDR3-2133 (about 17 GB per second per channel) provides very little bandwidth improvement compared to DDR3-1866 (about 14 GB per second per channel) which relates to the reason why APUs got a little better performance. DDR4-3200 provides about 25 GB per second per channel and that will give APUs close to double performance.

For any new memory technology there is always the disadvantage of cost and change in topology. It always been and always will that you have to throw away old RAM tech and buy new RAM tech. DDR2 had the same problem and DDR3 had the same problem. One thing was different that DDR3 was made compatible with DDR2, but the slot is different. DDR4 will need a new slot. Of course the memory controller will have to be designed to handle DDR4. Really nothing is new to advance to new RAM tech. Hopefully, DDR4 does not require CIMMS because using CIMMS is just lazy engineering to not self terminate a module at the end of the chain.
5 1 [Posted by: tecknurd  | Date: 12/19/13 10:07:42 PM]
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Who so ever negative thumbed you needs medical attention. Your comment on technical part is spot on.

EDIT: That dumbo negative thumbed me as well :D
4 1 [Posted by: Atlastiamhere  | Date: 12/20/13 02:37:52 AM]
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really 25Gb/ channel is lower than HBM and HCM has per channel. they will hit 15 to 25 Gb per lane and thats just version one. HMC is already working on the second gen that twice as fat and uses even less power. but there is still no word about price.
0 0 [Posted by: massau  | Date: 12/20/13 01:36:09 PM]
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2. 
"Adoption Will Unlikely Be Fast" ????

What language is that? And in a headline?

Try "Adoption Likely to be Slow"
1 3 [Posted by: john42  | Date: 12/19/13 01:18:08 PM]
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It could also mean the uptake could be average ....
1 1 [Posted by: caring1  | Date: 12/20/13 03:18:52 AM]
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If that is what was meant, then the headline should have been "Adoption Speed Likely to be Moderate". Or if slow or moderate was intended, "Adoption Unlikely to be Fast".

0 0 [Posted by: john42  | Date: 12/20/13 03:09:26 PM]
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Adoption is unlikely to be fast - is the better way to say it in proper English.
3 1 [Posted by: linuxlowdown  | Date: 12/20/13 05:11:34 AM]
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3. 
Damn speeling nazi's
1 1 [Posted by: alpha0ne  | Date: 12/21/13 12:46:45 AM]
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4. 
Let DDR4 come, we must wait a few years so its prices ajust.

Sadly, since DDR2 we've seen little improvement in latency. And if DDR4 is aimed first for performance then energy, we'll unlikely be seeing it get better.
0 0 [Posted by: Hikari  | Date: 01/02/14 07:13:13 PM]
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