Japanese DRAM supplier Elpida has managed to crank up DDR2 RAM to 800MHz and is already sampling chips to customers.
The caveat is that the new memory is only in 256Mb capacities so far with 8bit versions doing the rounds and 16bit widths to be ready next month. They are fabbed at the 110 nanometre (nm) process and use 1.85V while operating with a CAS Latency (CL) of 5. Volume production is expected to commence in May. Early adopters, naturally enough, include Taiwanese module manufacturers A-DATA Technology and Transcend Information.
Obviously, the news means motherboard manufacturers are going to need to get their collective fingers out given the short timescale and the fact that no motherboards today support DDR2 clocked above 667MHz. Needless to say, Elpida will be pitching its memory at high end PCs and it ties in neatly with the latest 800MHz front side bus processors.
Jun Kitano, Elpida’s Director of Technical Market, was keen to make this point: “800Mbps is a major milestone for DDR2 SDRAM. It is an ideal match for the latest processor front side bus, allowing PCs to maximise data throughput at a rate that is faster than ever before.”
Interestingly, while 256Mb parts are the current golden boy, the company did reveal that it managed to sample a 1Gb 800MHz part back in November. Given that the new memory is likely to cost a pretty penny at a quarter of this capacity when they begin shipping later in the year, we can only guess how much it cost Elpida to make the 1Gb version back then?!
If you remember, it was just last month Samsung announced DDR3 to the world but obviously this is some way off. Still, looks like the memory industry continues to go from strength to strength.