What Is DDR4

What does DDR4 mean?

DDR4 is the latest evolution of Synchronous DRAM, which is the memory technology most commonly used in servers, desktops and notebooks. After many years in development, DDR4 introduces a number of improvements over the previous generation –DDR3.

For example DDR4 is capable of much higher speeds than DDR3 –with a starting speed of 2133 and planned speed increases that could take it well over 3200.  DDR4 also uses up to 40% less power than DDR3, requiring only 1.2V per DIMM, compared to 1.5V for DDR3.

DDR4 supports the use of higher density DRAM chips and stacking technologies –which translates to higher capacity modules, maybe even as high as 256GB on a single DIMM in the not so distant future. The most important improvements for DDR4 have to do with data reliability. These include improved cyclic redundancy checks (or CRC), on-chip parity detection for integrity verification of ‘command and address transfers, as well as enhanced signal integrity. 

Physically, DDR4 DIMMs look very similar to DDR3. However, a side by side comparison reveals a few subtle changes. For example, DDR4 has 288 pins vs the 240 on DDR3.  The module key has also changed location. This is to prevent someone from accidently plugging these into older, incompatible computers. You will also notice there’s a curve in the center of the DIMM. This is to make the module stronger when being pressed in the socket,  and provides better electrical contact.

What are the benefits of DDR4?

Physically, DDR4 modules or dual inline memory modules (DIMMs) look very similar to DDR3 DIMMs. However, DDR4 has 288 pins, while DDR3 has 240. DDR4 SO-DIMM has 260 pins instead of the 204 pins found in DDR3. DDR4 keyways are located in different positions and the edge connector looks like a slightly curved "V" shape for easy insertion. This design also reduces insertion force because not all pins are occupied at the same time during module insertion.

Low Power Consuption

DDR4 modules save energy and operate at 1.2 V, compared with 1.5 V or 1.35 V for DDR3 modules. The reduced power consumption saves significant amounts of power and allows for higher speeds without the need for higher power and cooling requirements.

Higher Module Density

DIMM density starts at 2 GB and goes up to 128 GB, a huge leap from 512 MB DDR3 to 32 GB.

Faster Data Transfer Speed

ATP's latest DDR4 modules provide high-speed data transmission of up to 3200 MT/s for embedded and industrial applications. DDR4-3200 is ATP's newest industrial DDR4 product, with data transfer speeds up to 70% faster than DDR3-1866, one of the fastest available DDR3 versions, significantly improving theoretical peak performance.

Does DDR4 RAM work in DDR3 slot?

DDR4 RAM can not be inserted into DDR3 Slot. they are incompatible, so cannot be used together. 

DDR3 and DDR4 have several differences, including:

  • Apperance and Size

The slots on the DDR4 module and DDR3 module are different. Both slots are located on the insert side, but the DDR4 slots are slightly different to prevent the module from being installed on an incompatible motherboard or platform.

  • Capacity

Compared with DDR3, each DDR4 DIMM provides 512 GB capacity. The maximum capacity of a DDR3 DIMM is 128GiB.

  • Power Consumption

DDR3 operates at 1.5V and DDR4 at 1.2V, and the energy savings are up to 40%.

When did DDR4 come out?

As far back as 2007, some information about the DDR4 memory standard was made public. In August 2008, at the Intel Developer Forum (IDF) in San Francisco, a speaker from Qimonda provided more public information about DDR4. In that year's description of DDR4, DDR4 would use a 30nm process, operate at a voltage of 1.2V, run at a conventional bus clock rate of 2,133Mt /s, and have a "fever" level of 3,200Mt /s. Launched in 2012, the operating voltage will be improved to 1V by 2013.

In 2010, at MenCon, a computer memory industry conference in Tokyo, more DATA on DDR4 technology was unveiled at a technology presentation titled "Time to Rethink DDR4" led by JEDEC, the microelectronics industry's leading standards body. Under the title New Roadmap: More Realistic Roadmap is 2015, the company announced a New timeline for DDR4 memory standards. As a result, many media reported that the release of DDR4 will be delayed until 2015.

However, on January 4, 2011, Samsung Electronics announced the completion of the manufacturing and testing of the first DDR4 DRAM module using a 30nm process with a data transfer rate of 2,133Mt /s and operating voltage of 1.2V. Prior to this, The success of Samsung Electronics' DRAM chip with 40nm process was the key to the development of DDR4.

Three months later, in April 2011, hynix announced the launch of a 2GB DDR4 memory module operating at 2400MT/s, also operating at 1.2v, and announced that it expected to start mass production in the second half of 2012. Then, in May 2012, Micron announced that it would manufacture DRAM and flash chips using the 30-nanometer process in late 2012.

DDR4 memory was first introduced in 2014. The first to support DDR4 memory is Intel's flagship X99 platform. At the time, DDR4 had no advantage over high frequency DDR3 in terms of performance and price. However, if users wanted to experience the flagship platform, they had to buy the expensive DDR4 because x99 only supported DDR4.

In August 2015, Intel released its Skylake processor and 100 series motherboards. Since then, DDR4 has been widely active in the memory market with its excellent performance and power consumption.

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