SK hynix launches world's first DDR5 RAM

Written by Jennifer Allen

October 6, 2020 | 13:00

Tags: #ddr5

Companies: #sk-hynix

SK hynix has announced the launch of the world's first DDR5 DRAM but don't get too excited just yet - it's not for consumer setups. 

Right now, SK hynix's plans are for its DDR5 RAM to be aimed specifically at servers, extreme workstations, and AI systems, rather than desktop devices. 

The company has been conducting system-level tests and simulations with its SoC manufacturers to ensure its DDR5 RAM passes compatibility and validity tests, and it's looking pretty good. It's expected that the RAM will support transfer rates of 4,800 - 5,600 Mbps which should be around 1.8 times faster than the previous generation. Its operating voltage is 1.1V which is lower than the 1.2V of DDR4 and expected to reduce power consumption by 20 percent. 

It should be far more reliable too with an Error Correcting Code (ECC) inside the chip that can correct even 1-bit-level errors by itself. SK hynix reckons that will improve the reliability of applications by 20 times. 

As a partner to such plans, Intel had something to say on the matter with Carolyn Duran, Vice President of Intel's Data Platforms Group and GM of Memory and IO Technologies explaining, 'Intel partnered closely with memory leaders including SK hynix on the DDR5 spec development starting with early architecture concepts through JEDEC standardization.' She continued, 'in addition, we worked collaboratively with SK hynix on silicon development by designing and testing prototypes to ensure DDR5 meets its performance goals and are fully ready for our mutual customers.'

SK hynix announced the development of 16GB DDR5 RAM back in November 2018 so it's about time we finally saw some concrete progression. However, it's generally expected that we won't see such RAM in regular consumer devices until late next year, and possibly not until 2022. 

Market intelligence provider, Omdia, reckons the DDR5 surge will begin in 2021 and will possess 10 percent of the total global DRAM market in 2022, growing to 43 percent by 2024. So, this is a bit of a slow burner if you're keen for more, but it's a strong move anyhow. 

Of course, you may be wondering about now what the timings will be and so much more like capacities and so forth. We don't know just yet although there are suggestions that the maximum size will be 256GB. Ultimately, it's a slow process just yet as DDR5 slowly builds momentum. It's going to take time for it to really come into its own so we wouldn't expect great timings early on. Still, the future looks promising, right? 

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