Samsung Announces 16GB DDR4 DIMM Modules for 2014 Platforms
It takes a long time to certify a platform, especially one intended for mission-critical tasks. While desktop and notebook platforms typically end up qualified within 2-3 quarters, it often takes up to 2 years to verify that all the parts of server platform work in order.
We already wrote about DDR4 memory as the integral part of the future memory standards, especially with Intel Haswell and AMD's Post-Abu Dhabi future architectures. Furthermore, GDDR6 memory is also expected to debut in 2014, meaning we have about a year to year and a half to go with the current DDR3/GDDR5 combination.
In order to enable the complete platform qualification (processor, motherboard, chipset, memory modules etc., Samsung started sampling the key industry vendors with DDR4 memory modules. The very first DDR4 server modules come in the shape of "Registered Dual Inline Memory Module" with 16GB (128 Gbit) capacity. Performance is no slouch either – while the DDR3 Registered ECC memory featured clocks of 1333 and 1600 MHz, the official designation PC4-17000 (+16GB/s), shows that DDR4 is continuing where DDR3 stopped: DDR4-2133 (2.1 billion transfers per second). At the same time, the power consumption was reduced by as much as 40%, with the operating voltage being 1.2V, compared to 1.35V. Current (Amps) remained the same.
While first memory modules are manufactured in 30nm process node, Samsung announced that the shipping memory modules will feature 20nm DDR4 DRAM. Once 20nm chips arrive, Samsung will be in position to offer 8GB, 16GB and 32GB DDR4 modules. If we do the math on Haswell-EP and -EX platforms, we're talking about 256GB of memory per CPU, or 1TB on a single quad-socket motherboard.
Besides memory modules, expect DDR4 in SAS/SATA Express controllers, low-end and performance graphics cards, accelerator cards and so on.