Over on AMD’s blog space, senior manager of advanced marketing Ian McNaughton had an insightful interview with Corsair co-founder and CEO Andy Paul, in which the two discussed the near future of the transition from DDR2 to DDR3 memory in the DRAM market.
At present, Corsair concentrates on 6GB triple-channel memory module kits aimed at Intel Core i7-based systems, and it believes that DDR3 has entered the market with no real compatibility problems or performance glitches to the consumer. In the enthusiast market, this has been very evident in the past year or so, but the company expects the socket AM3 AMD Phenom II platform to really push the industry towards the DDR3 transition.
Andy quotes, “DDR3 has already passed DDR2 in terms of latency. Remember, latency is notated in clock cycles, but actually represents elapsed time. So, 1600MHz CAS-8 is actually LOWER latency (and thus, faster) than 800MHz CAS-5. Corsair’s fastest available part is 2000MHz CAS-7, which means that the latency is 3.5 nanoseconds. This is the same latency as 800MHz CAS-2.8 which of course does not exist! So, we have already seen this crossover.”
At the same time, it is important to realize that DDR3 was slowly introduced over two years ago in early 2007, and while it may have delivered the performance crossover with DDR2, it has not quite gotten over the mainstream hurdle that Corsair expects to witness with new IMC embedded Intel processors and the new Phenom II platform.
Andy went on to quote, “From a density standpoint, we see the sweet spot for memory being at least 6GB for three channel configurations, and at least 4GB for dual channel configurations. By the end of the year, I think many or most dual channel builds will transition to 8GB. Memory cost will continue to trend downwards, Windows 7 will be out there and applications programmers will produce applications and games that are designed to take advantage of 64-bit memory addressing. Even now many of our customers are populating machines with 12G.”
We suspect that Corsair will soon develop some 4GB memory modules, or perhaps it is already in the process of doing so and will give us a little surprise around Computex in a few weeks.