2020 has seen an unprecedented jump in computing, from the Nvidia 30 Series Ampere cards, to the new PS5 and Xbox Series X and of course, the Zen 3 based CPUs from AMD that are to be unveiled today. All of this new technology needs to be coupled with an equivalent advancement of memory, but from the looks of it, SK Hynix has went a little further than that.
The company says that it has created the world’s first DDR5 RAM chips, which will provide twice the performance of the DDR4 chips that dominate the market today.
According to SK Hynix, its DDR5 module can carry a transfer rate upto 4,800-5,600 Mbps, which is 1.8 times faster than the DDR4s. The chipmaker says, at a transfer rate of 5,600 Mbps, the RAM module can transfer nine full HD movies (approx 5GB each) per second.
The power consumption has also been brought down by 20% from 1.2V on DDR4 to 1.1V on the DDR5. This means that now only will you get faster performance, you’d have to spend less energy while doing so.
In case of RAM memories, double channel is always superior to single channel. Thus, if you were to buy a 16GB RAM module, a double channel RAM with 8GB/channel will provide better performance than a single channel RAM with 16GB/channel. The DDR5 boasts two 32-bit channels instead of one 64-bit, which will help in giving increased peak bandwidths.
The best part? SK Hynix’s DDR5 can be built up to a capacity of 256GB, which is leaps and bounds ahead of the conventional DDR4 chips.
Moreover, the DDR5 has been programmed with Error Correcting Code (ECC), which allows the chip to correct even 1-bit-level errors by itself. This, according to the Korean manufacturer, will increase the reliability of applications by 20 times.
SK Hynix in its blog said, “The Company expects that these eco-friendly semiconductor memories will reduce both the power consumption and operating costs of data centers as DDR5 consumes less power and significantly improves its reliability.”
The development of the first 16GB DDR5 DRAM was started back in 2018 by the company. It took a while but then in July this year, JEDEC announced the final specs of the DDR5 SDRAM modules. In the blog, SK Hynix said that even Synopsys, Renesas, Montage Technology, and Rambus have come on board to help develop the DDR5 ecosystem.
Omdia, a market intelligence provider states that the demand for DDR5 will surge in 2021 and will account for 10% of the global DRAM market in 2022, which will then increase to 43% in 2024. SK Hynix told The Verge, the new RAM module can be expected around the third quarter in 2021.
However, the new DDR5 module that we have now does not match the transfer rates of the initial DDR5 specs revealed, which promised data transfer rates upto 6,400 Mbps. The company has tested modules with 6,400 Mbps transfer rates but it doesn’t seem to launch it anytime soon.