Knowing Samsung’s DDR5 modules will not be coming out till next year is a bummer. However, blessings come from South Korea as SK Hynix confirms DDR5 mass production starting this year. We transitioned from DDR3 to DDR4 6 years back in 2014. DDR4 memory did a great job introducing higher bus speeds and larger memory capacities with the single 16GB modules. However, technological advancements help us push further beyond. While we thought DDR5 will not be around until next year, SK Hynix took matters into their own hands.
So what should we expect from the new DDR5 memory type? Well for a start the DDR5 aims to achieve twice the bandwidth speeds present on the current DDR4 memory modules. At the moment we are witnessing CPU core counts increasing drastically on both consumer-grade products and HPC (High-Performance Computing). SK Hynix claims the DDR5 will satisfy these bandwidth needs. We saw an impressive 3200MHz bus frequency on the current DDR4 RAM. There was also the Corsair Vengeance LPX which boosted up to an insane 4866MHz.
Highlighting the double bandwidth speed claims by SK Hynix indicates at least a 50% performance increase compared to the current-gen. This means the first wave of DDR5 RAM frequencies will start at 4800MHz. Later the speeds will peak up to 8400MHz. Further along, all of this will come with modules having an operating voltage of 1.1V (DDR4 = 1.2V). DDR5 will also pack an on-die error correction for reliable technology node scaling. It will do so by correcting single-bit errors internally. The DDR5 will also come with a 32banks structure featuring 8 bank groups. This is an upgrade in comparison to the DDR4 which has 16 banks per 4 bank groups.
The number of bursts used in transmitting data aka burst length will also double up to 16 from 8. Not only that, but the DDR5 will also take advantage of the Same Bank refresh to perform additional refresh timing. This feature provides better memory access over all says SK Hynix. We should expect the production for DDR5 in volume this year starting with 16Gbit chips. While Intel has it’s Xeon CPUs and AMD has the 4th generation EPYC Rome CPU, we will see the first Intel and AMD platforms with support for DDR5 in the server PC segment.