Last week, there was confirmation at the Intel Developer Forum that there will be at least one more DDR memory specification. JEDEC is expected to release its first DDR5 memory specification later this year, but it will take until 2020 before the memory finds its way to the market.
Previously, some experts believed DDR4 would be the last specification before the commercialization of more advanced types of memory like PCM (phase-change memory), RRAM (resistive RAM), or MRAM (magnetoresistive RAM), but these are all still in research phase and could be too expensive to manufacture. It was also not expected that a new memory standard would be needed this quick, but interest in virtual reality applications and the needs of the server market are spurring demand.
DDR5 DRAM will allow smaller and denser memory chips to be made using the latest manufacturing processes. The DDR4 specification, which was finalized many years ago, wasn’t designed using the latest 14- and 10-nanometer manufacturing processes, but for the older 40- to 50-nanometer processes.
DDR5 could live until 2025, and that may give breathing room for the new memory types to develop, Howard said. “A lot of the DDR5 development gets back to the shortcomings for DDR4,” Howard said.