SK Hynix and Samsung presented their goals for DDR5 memory at the International Solid-State Circuits Conference. Both companies plan to release DDR5 products by the end of 2019, with SK Hynix focusing on desktops and Samsung on mobile devices.
SK Hynix's presentation centered on a 16Gb DDR5 SDRAM module that, according to the company, operates at 1.1V while offering up to 6.4Gb/s of throughput for each pin. The module is said to be made with a 1y-nm process and measures just 76.22 square millimeters. (Some of which the company announced back in November 2018.)
The company's presentation was said to offer more technical information than Samsung's. The latter reportedly made some claims about LPDDR5 SDRAM meant for use in laptops, tablets, and smartphones without actually explaining how the module is made.
But that shouldn't curb enthusiasm for Samsung's offering: The company said it made a 10nm module that draws only 1.05V while offering speeds up to 7.5G/s. That's simultaneously more efficient and more powerful than what SK Hynix plans to ship this year.
It's worth noting that Jedec, which sets the standards for memory products, is still finalizing the details on DDR5. An updated version of the LPDDR5 standard was published on February 19, but the organization hasn't yet established the final DDR5 guidelines.
Memory companies aren't content to wait for those final standards; however, as demonstrated by SK Hynix and Samsung's plans to release DDR5 products by 4Q19. Cadence and Micron also said in October 2018 that they planned to produce DDR5 RAM this year.
What does that mean for consumers? Well, the introduction of DDR5 memory will offer better performance while drawing less power and doubling capacities from DDR4. The new memory will probably be expensive at first, of course, but prices should fall eventually.
SK Hynix reportedly predicted that DDR5 sales would make up 25 percent of the memory market by 2021 and 44 percent by 2022. We suspect it will become even more popular in the mobile market, too, as companies search for ways to combat flagging phone sales.
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