Random Access Memory or RAM is one of the most important components in any computer system. Due to its inherent speed in comparison to conventional storage technology, it is the main choice for immediate data storage. All computer systems will have a certain version of RAM installed within it. The current standard being used right now is DDR4. However, a new RAM technology, the DDR5, promises massive improvements over the existing memory technology used in today’s computer systems.
DDR5 or Double Data Rate version 5 is the newest volatile memory system created by JEDEC. JEDEC is one of the many electronic standardization governing bodies in the world. The organization just announced that the future of DRAM memory solutions for both server and consumer PC with DDR5. This new RAM technology will offer as much as twice the original bandwidth while reducing overall power consumption.
What is DDR5?
In its most basic sense, DDR5 is the fifth revision of the JEDEC standard for volatile memories. The new memory specification offers improved system utilization and better channel efficiency of future DRAM memory modules. The update will provide increased bandwidth per pin, increased capacity, and improved power efficiency.
DDR5 vs DDR4
The DDR4 specification was first published back in 2012. This new memory technology showed improved power efficiency by dropping the operating voltage of each module. From 1.5 Volts, JEDEC reduced the operating voltage to 1.2 Volts. In addition to this, operating frequency is also increased for much faster data transfers.
DDR4 memory modules, traditionally, have an average transfer speed of about 12Gbps. Each DDR4 module can hold as much as 16GB of data with its 64-bit data bus width. Now, DDR5 can offer way more than what a DDR4 memory module can in terms of size and bandwidth.
DDR5 specs in details
At the moment, JEDEC is yet to formally release the official specification for DDR5. However, according to AnandTech, the new memory standard will have a maximum capacity of 32GB per module. This is a 100-percent increase from the current DDR4 memory standard. Furthermore, DDR will have a theoretical data bandwidth of 51.2Gbps on its 64-bit data bus.
Current DDR4 systems have a maximum theoretical transfer rate of 3200 MT/s (millions of transfers per second). DDR5 will offer twice that at 6400 MT/s. Also, as indicated earlier, the maximum capacity per module is also increased two-folds. Instead of 16GB, consumers could be looking at 32GB memory modules in the near future.
JEDEC also promised improved channel use and efficiency for DDR5. However, since JEDEC has yet to release the official documents, we can only guess how this is going to be achieved. This is due to the fact that bandwidth does not increase in a linear fashion with every increase in data channel.
DDR5 release date
Right now, JEDEC is still conducting seminars and presentations for the new memory technology. Obviously, DDR5 is still very brand new. In fact, JEDEC will be presenting the new memory technology in June at the Server Forum event in Santa Clara. After which, the association will host a DDR5 SDRAM workshop for developers before the end of the year. JEDEC targets to release the official DDR5 specification sometime in 2018. From here, it will take several more years for system developers to adopt the new standard. If all goes well, consumers could be looking at system-level implementations of DDR5 sometime in 2020 or 2021.
Even though the actual release of DDR5 is still ahead of us, the new technology offers a very promising future for both enterprise and consumer PC markets. Not only that it will improve overall system performance, it will also increase maximum memory capacity. For more tech updates, be sure to check us out at TheBitbag.