As another CES makes itself comfortable, the world of hardware marches inexorably on. Next up to get a bullet in the head is your flake old DDR4 memory - Micron has announced it has begun sampling of DDR5 RDIMMs, the next generation of volatile memory.
DDR, or Double Data Rate, traces a fairly predictable path from generation to generation. DDR5 will offer exactly double the memory density of DDR4, as well as improving memory performance by over 85%. The faster RAM should also offer improved reliability. It’s DDR4 but better in every conceivable way.
Micron points towards the frankly insane new server processors coming out of the likes of AMD and Intel, with the former announcing a ‘consumer’ grade Ryzen Threadripper 3990X this week with a staggering 64 Cores / 128 Threads. CPU capabilities are going through the roof as core counts skyrocket and Micron believes compute-intensive applications will be bandwidth-starved by current DDR4 DRAM.
“Data center workloads will be increasingly challenged to extract value from the accelerating growth of data across virtually all applications,” said Tom Eby, senior vice president and general manager of the Compute & Networking Business Unit at Micron.
“The key to enabling these workloads is higher-performance, denser, higher-quality memory. Micron’s sampling of DDR5 RDIMMs represents a significant milestone, bringing the industry one step closer to unlocking the value in next-generation data-centric applications.”
Naturally, it’ll still be some time until DDR5 filters down and becomes the norm for us gaming-grade peasants. As a point of reference, DDR4 RAM debuted at CES in 2013 and began to be available for consumers in Q2 2014. It then took another year or two to drop down to a price that could be considered reasonable. On that basis, we’re probably looking at DDR5 being fairly commonplace in around 2022-23.