Committed to Memory

A lot has been written about DDR SDRAMs, both the compute variety (DDR3/4) and the mobile variety (LPDDR3/4) and what may come after these technologies run their course.  One thing is certain; the future will not be an easy path for DRAMs.  The DDR protocol based on a wide parallel bus with single ended signaling and a source synchronous data strobe and non-embedded clock is not scalable beyond the data rates currently specified for these technologies.  After DDR4, the world will need something else as the DDR interface cannot realistically be expected to run at data rates higher than 3200Mbps in a traditional computer main memory environment.  Unfortunately, that something else will likely be “somethings” else.  Likewise, the smartphone’s insatiable need for higher bandwidth from main memory DRAM will also lead to a deviation from the wide parallel bus based DRAM.

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We are thrilled about today’s blog topic: the announcement of Synopsys’s complete LPDDR4 IP solution!

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This happened a little bit quietly last week – but Qualcomm has announced the first product that I’m aware of that will use LPDDR4 memory.

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The definition of tidbit is:

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This is a big day for DDR4: For the first time, Intel has announced DDR4 support in their desktop CPU roadmap.

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I think I have found the first DDR4 DIMMs available for consumer purchase anywhere. Crucial and a few others were showing DDR4 DIMMs at this year’s Consumer Electronics Show (CES) in January, so it’s nice to see that they translated into real products.

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As a provider of DDR PHY and controller IP, the question we get asked the most goes something like this:  “Will your PHY support a {insert short description of system here} at {fill in the speed here} Mbps?  Lately, I am receiving a lot of questions around DDR4 such as “Will your DDR4 PHY support one dual rank UDIMM at 2667Mbps”?

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Believe it or not, work the DDR4 standard was first started back in 2004.  That’s now 10 years ago!  Happy 10th birthday DDR4.  10 years ago Facebook was started up, there was no Twitter (2006), no iPhone (2007), and Google went public for $85/share (it is now $1,123/share).  Even after those 10 years, you can’t go out a buy a computer with DDR4 in it.  The JEDEC standard for DDR4 was published in September 2012 so why isn’t everyone using it?  Why did it take so long?

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Last week I blogged on how Samsung and SK Hynix had both issued LPDDR4 press releases on the same day.

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Happy New Year to all our blog readers!

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