Despite the JEDEC specification for DDR5 not being finalized yet, Cadence and Micron have already started developing 16Gb DDR5 RAM, which they say will be ready to start production by the end of 2019.
DDR5 Is Coming
JEDEC, the group that develops the DDR standard for RAM, is expected to finalize the DDR5 standard later this year. However, it seems Cadence and Micron were impatient and wanted to get a head start with the almost finalized standard that’s available right now. Cadence developed the DDR5 interface IP, while Micron crafted the first silicon prototype for DDR5 RAM. The two companies tested a 4400MT/s DDR5 chip prototype for the first time earlier this May.
Micron’s Ryan Baxter said that production of 16Gb DDR5 memory will begin late 2019, manufactured at a sub-18 process, so we should start seeing systems with DDR5 RAM sometime in 2020. It’s not clear when Intel will support DDR5 memory for its chips, but AMD had previously announced that it will support its current AM4 socket until 2020. That could mean that we may see AMD chips with DDR5 as soon as 2020.
Increased Bandwidth Is the Focus
The primary goal of the DDR5 RAM seems to be to increase bandwidth, especially for systems in professional environments and data centers. Compared to DDR4-3200 RAM, the DDR5-3200 RAM will see an increase of 1.36x in bandwidth.
However, the DDR5 RAM chips are expected to start at 4800MT/s, which would be a 1.87x increase in bandwidth compared to DDR4-3200 RAM. The DDR5 standard has an official limit of 6400MT/s, but we may see some memory companies push that further.
Other benefits of DDR5 RAM include 32/40-bit channels per module, improved command bus efficiency, improved refresh schemes and an increased bank group for additional performance.