DDR5 RAM Expected in 2019 but the Figures are Hardly Impressive



/ 5 months ago

Apacer PANTHER DDR4 LED 3

We love everything about RAM. Except for the Price!

We at eTeknix love fast RAM. Even more so if it has a lot of bright lights and LED’s to dazzle us. We, of course, do not love everything about it. The price at the moment is a major issue for us, however, when we hear reports of DDR5 ram emerging, our spidey sense starts tingling for new heights in computer performance.

We were recently highly impressed with Corsairs latest DDR4 offering which achieved speeds of 4600mhz. DDR5, however, could provide figures even more astonishing if the report via PcGames is to be believed.

Aging myself quite horrifically, I still fondly remember the days before dims or nimms, back to a simpler time when you had to buy RAM in 2 slots of the same value. Ahh, my Pentium 100 and it’s phenomenal 16mb of ram (upgrading from a lowly 8mb). In fact, thinking about it, it wasn’t a simpler time at all. It was a considerably more complicated time and I regret nothing to now have my 16gb of 3200 DDR4.

crucial DDR4 LRDIMM Module

What can we expect from DDR5 ram?

We reported a short while ago how RAMBUS has claimed to have created the first DDR5 RAM. I should be clear at this point that there is no ‘set level’ as to what DDR5 will be. Frankly, DDR4 is still nicely new enough for the vast majority of us to be happy with what we have. At least, for the moment. RAMBUS, however, now seem to want to claim otherwise.

In the announcement, RAMBUS said: “This is the very first silicon-proven memory buffer chip prototype capable of achieving the speeds required for the upcoming DDR5 standard. Data-intensive applications like big data analytics and machine learning will be key drivers for the adoption of DDR5, with enterprise close behind.”

RAMBUS claim that DDR5 RAM base speeds will be somewhere in the region of 4600mhz. Now, this is, as above, a smidgen higher than the recently reported Corsair 4400mhz DDR4, but this is hardly a massive step forward. Frankly, when I heard announcement I was expecting 6000mhz+, not a hair over what has just been achieved. Don’t get me wrong, faster is good, but this is barely above what DDR4 is clearly capable of.

You’re being a bit harsh there!

Yes, I am, but hear me out.

Playing devil’s advocate, I should reiterate that 4600mhz is reported to be just the base level of speed. That in itself is just about double what we have in DDR4. As such, based on where we are right now today, it is very impressive. I have no doubt I’m going to fall in for coming criticism over calling this figure ‘hardly impressive’. I do therefore acknowledge that eventually higher packages will exceed 6000mhz by the time the next innovation in RAM is settled. I’m, therefore, not entirely throwing a damp towel over this. I am just surprised at the lack of hyperbole from RAMBUS. Perhaps I am far too accustomed to seeing over-estimations rather than apparent conservative ones.

I have no doubt I’m going to fall in for some coming criticism over calling this figure ‘hardly impressive’ in my title. I do therefore acknowledge that eventually higher packages will exceed 6000mhz by the time the next innovation in RAM is settled. I’m, therefore, not entirely throwing a damp towel over this. I am just surprised at the lack of hyperbole from RAMBUS. I am far too accustomed to seeing over-estimations rather than apparent conservative ones.

My major caveat to not hopping aboard the hype train is that this is not expected for at least 2 years. A base rating of 4600mhz, by that point, is surely within reasonable expectations.

Now, of course, DDR5 will likely be better in areas other than just speed. To impress me to the levels of some of the hyperbole I’ve seen written, I’m going to have to hear better than 4600mhz.

 


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Comments

2 Responses to “DDR5 RAM Expected in 2019 but the Figures are Hardly Impressive”
  1. E says:

    More accurate analysis of Rambus DDR5 progress can be found on the eetimes website, where writers have been part of the semiconductor industry and therefore better placed to discuss a high speed wireline transeiver technology.

    See… http://www.eetimes.com/document.asp?doc_id=1332322

    As we get towards higher data rates, not just clock rates discussed above, the number of deep signal integrity issues we face climbs quickly. In particular jitter specifications are now routinely a few ps.

    DDR standards use a variety of techniques to transmit data faster than the clock. Dual data rate is data on the positive and negative periods of the clock, however multi-lane and quadrature techniques can also be used. Likewise OOK encoding is one bit per slot whereas 4-PAM i.e. 4 level pulse amplitude modulation is more noise sensitive but gives 4 bits per symbol.

    Before downplaying a technology, please get your article in order. Yes the clock increase may be modest, but please nite data rate increases and indeed the diference between Gb/s and GB/s. Otherwise you risk coming accross as quite uneducated.

  2. E says:

    Here is a suitable quote showing how clock frequency is not a reliable figure. It is actually quite lazy to use use a figure only.

    “DDR5 is expected to support data rates up to 6.4 Gbits/s and deliver 51.2 GBytes/s max, up from 3.2 Gbits/s and 25.6 GBytes/s for today’s DDR4. The new version will push the 64-bit link down to 1.1 V and burst lengths to 16 bits from 1.2 V and 8 bits. In addition, DDR5 lets voltage regulators ride on the memory card rather than the motherboard.”

    To reiterate. 51.2 G Bytes per second. Thats approx 400 Gb/s. As shown in the eetimes article DDR5 offers double the throughput, similar clock and lower power.

    Please do not diminish the difficulty of such data rates.

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