Samsung announces 30nm DDR3 memory

DDR3 goes ‘green’

WHEN DDR3 MEMORY was launched it was hailed not only as offering much better performance than DDR2, but also as a much more power efficient type of memory. However, Samsung latest 30nm DDR3 offering has managed to improve upon the original specification to bring us even lower power requirements.

DDR2 operates at 1.8V with high-end overclocking modules requiring in excess of 2V. This might not seem like much, but modern DDR3 memory modules operates at 1.5V with high-end modules rarely going beyond 1.65V even at high speeds. The new DDR3 DRAM from Samsung lowers the already low operating Voltage to a mere 1.35V. This is unlikely to have a huge impact for most people’s home computers as it’s such a nominal power saving in this scenario.

However, where these new DRAM chips are likely to find favour is in notebooks and big server farms where the lower operating voltage can help improve the battery life, or reduce running costs if we’re talking servers. Another advantage is for overclockers, as Intel’s integrated memory controller is fairly sensitive when it comes to high voltages and the new Samsung modules should allow even high performance modules to operate at no more than 1.5V.

Samsung is also the first company to manufacture DDR3 DRAM using a 30nm process which should further help increase the performance and overclocking potential. However, Samsung is selling them on the merit of being green, as that is of course the way that you can push these kinds of products into the corporate sector where the big money is. Samsung claims a 30 percent reduction in power consumption over 50nm DRAM solutions.

According to the press relase, a 4GB DDR3 SO-DIMM using Samsung’s new 30nm chips should draw a mere three watts per hour, which is meant to be the equivalent to three percent of the total power usage of the notebook. Samsung will be offering 2Gb DDR3 DRAMs which means that we should see high capacity DDR3 modules appear quickly in the market once Samsung hits mass production, which is scheduled to take place in the second half of this year.S|A

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