DDR2-667 memory going mainstream, DDR1-600 sampling

San Jose (CA) - System memory is entering a new phase with Samsung’s announcement to shift mainstream DDR2 from 400 to 667 MHz devices. Performance memory maker Patriot will offer a speed upgrade for DDR2 to 1000 MHz and DDR1 to 600 MHz.

Mainstream desktop and notebook computers will soon get a tick faster by using a new memory generation. Samsung, the world’s largest DRAM manufacturer, said it has begun mass-producing DDR2-667 memory. The move indicates a gradual shift from DDR2-400 manufacturing resources to the faster 667 memory, which will become a standard feature in PCs later this year.

Compared to 400 MHz memory, the 90 nm 667 MHz devices offer 25 percent more bandwidth and consume about 30 percent less power than DDR1-400, for example. Samsung said its DDR2-667 is available now in 256 MByte and 512 MByte versions ; a 1 GByte version is expected late this year.

As long as AMD does not offer a DDR2 platform, DDR1 remains an interesting topic especially for Athlon 64, X2 and FX customers. Some performance memory makers go beyond the standard 400 MHz memory and will offer options for speed upgrades. Patriot, for example, announced that it has begun sampling DDR-600 at 2.5-4-4-8 timings and operating voltage of 2.9 volts specifically for the AMD platform. According to the firm, the memory devices can be overclocked to about 700 MHz with "slightly relaxed timings".

Patriot also offers DDR2 memory in a 1000 MHz version and follows similar announcements from OCZ and Corsair in the past few weeks. The company did not say when the DDR1-600 and DDR2-1000 will be available for purchase and how much they will cost.