Micron announces its first DDR4 modules

May 8, 2012 // 11:41 a.m.

Tags: #ddr4 #dram #elpida #hynix #jedec #memory #micron #samsung

Memory giant Micron has announced development of its first fully-functional DDR4 dynamic memory (DRAM) module, with sampling already taking place ahead of an expected 2013 launch.

Developed in conjunction with Nanya and based on a 30nm process, the 4Gb DDR4 x8 chips are due to find a home in all Micron's various DDR4 modules including RDIMM, LRDIMM, 3DS, SODIMM and UDIMM parts. The x8 part will also be joined by x16 and x32 components, although Micron has yet to offer a timescale for their avaiability.

Micron is clearly hoping to get in early with DDR4: the next-generation memory standard, which boasts improved performance over the existing DDR3 standard, has yet to be finalised by the JEDEC Solid State Technology Association. While the standard is all but nailed-down at this point, there is still room for JEDEC to make changes - at which point Micron will need to return to the drawing board.

'With the JEDEC definition for DDR4 very near finalisation, we've put significant effort into ensuring that our first DDR4 product is as JEDEC-compatible as it can be at this final stage of its development,' claimed Brian Shirley, vice president for Micron's DRAM solutions group, at the announcement late yesterday. 'We have provided samples to key partners in the marketplace with confidence that the die we give them now is the same die we will take into mass production.'

Micron is predicting that the first DDR4-based products will be hitting shop shelves in early 2013, with manufacturers taking advantage of improved performance and enhanced power saving features of the new standard in devices ranging from traditional servers and desktops to ultra-portable laptops and tablets.

Thus far, however, Micron has not named any of the customers currently sampling its DDR4 parts.

In addition to its early-adopter DDR4 modules, Micron has also won the right to buy ailing memory maker Elpida in a deal claimed to be worth over ¥200 billion (around £1.5 billion.) According to a source close to the deal, speaking to the New York Times, the company has been given exclusive negotiation rights for its once and former competitor.

Should the deal go ahead, Micron would leap-frog rival SK Hynix to become the second biggest PC memory maker in the world, behind semiconductor giant Samsung.
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