Samsung builds DDR3-1066 prototype

Seoul - Samsung today said that it has produced the world's first working DDR3 DRAM module. The memory technology will replace today's DDR2 sometime next year with clock speeds of at least 800 MHz.

The prototype chip announced has a capacity of 512 Mbit and is able to process data at a rate of 1066 Mbit per second, which is equivalent to about 8,000 newspaper pages per second, according to Samsung. The chip also reduces supply voltage from 1.8 volts in DDR2 to 1.5 volts, allowing a decrease in power consumption.

DDR3 is likely to enable gigabit-rate data processing for DDR memories. While DDR-400 provided a bridge to DDR2-400 memory, it is expected that DDR2-800 will do the same for DDR3-800. Samsung said it will manufacture DDR3 memory initially in an 80 nm process with a likely commercial availability for notebooks, desktops and servers in early 2006.

Initially expected speeds of the modules will be 800 Mbit per second and top out with a 1066 Mbit (533 MHz) version. Current technology limitations prevent the manufacturer to scale DDR3 further at this time, according to a company spokeswoman. "Down the road", Samsung expects to increase the data processing speed of DDR3 to increase to 1333 Mbit per second.

Despite a production start in late 2005, it will take several months for DDR3 to trickle down to the mainstream market. Market research firm IDC believes that DDR3 will enter the market during 2007 and reach a market share of 65 percent by 2009.

Until then, Samsung has another high performing gigabit memory technology in production. Rambus' XDR memory will make its commercial debut with the Cell processor and the Playstation 3 and scale from 2.4 GHz to about 8 GHz in the coming years.

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