Memory

SK hynix launches 16 gigabit DDR5 DRAM

15th October 2020
Alex Lynn

SK hynix has announced the launch of its DDR5 DRAM, a high-speed and high-density product optimised for big data, Artificial Intelligence (AI), and machine learning (ML) as a next generation standard of DRAM.

Since SK hynix announced the development of the 16 Gigabit (Gb) DDR5 DRAM on November 2018, the Company has provided its major partners including Intel with sample products, and has completed various tests and verification of its functions and compatibility. This will allow SK hynix to provide its customers with the products once the DDR5 market becomes active.

In the meantime, SK hynix has conducted joint-operation of on-site lab, system-level test, and simulation with System-on-Chip1) (SoC) manufacturers to verify the functions of DDR5. Also, the Company validated compatibility of its DDR5 and the major components on DRAM module including register clock driver2) (RCD), which affect DRAM performance, and power management integrated circuit3) (PMIC). Through these verifications, SK hynix has been collaborating closely with its global partners.

SK hynix's DDR5 supports transfer rate of 4,800 to 5,600 Megabit-per-second (Mbps), which is 1.8 times faster than the previous generation - DDR4. It can transmit nine full-HD (FHD) movies (5GB each) per second with 5,600Mbps transfer rate. Its operating voltage is 1.1V being lowered from 1.2V of DDR4, which means that its power consumption is reduced by 20%.

Another notable specification of the Company's DDR5 is Error Correcting Code (ECC) inside the chip that can correct even 1-bit-level errors by itself. With the ECC, the reliability of applications will be increased by 20 times. The Company's DDR5 also could build up to 256 Gigabyte (GB) capacity applying through-silicon-via (TSV) technology.

The Company expects that these eco-friendly semiconductor memories will reduce both the power consumption and operating costs of data centres as DDR5 consumes less power and significantly improves its reliability.

"Intel partnered closely with memory leaders including SK hynix on the DDR5 spec development starting with early architecture concepts through JEDEC standardisation," commented Carolyn Duran, Vice President of Intel's Data Platforms Group and GM of Memory and IO Technologies. "In addition, we worked collaboratively with SK hynix on silicon development by designing and testing prototypes to ensure DDR5 meets its performance goals and are fully ready for our mutual customers."

"As SK hynix has launched World's First DDR5 DRAM, the Company could lead the future technology trend in global DRAM market," added Jonghoon Oh, Executive Vice President and Chief Marketing Officer (CMO) at SK hynix. "SK hynix will focus on the fast-growing premium server market, solidifying its position as a leading company in server DRAM."

Meanwhile, DDR5 standard was published by JEDEC (JEDEC Solid State Technology Association) earlier on July, 2020. According to market intelligence provider Omdia, the DDR5 demand will begin its surge in 2021, and it will possess ten percent of total global DRAM market in 2022 and increase to 43% in 2024.

Synopsys, Renesas, Montage Technology, and Rambus have also stated their commitment to the continuing cooperation in creating the DDR5 ecosystem.

"Synopsys has collaborated with SK hynix to deliver highly reliable DDR5 solutions for advanced high-performance computing SoCs requiring ultra-fast and high-capacity memory subsystems," said John Koeter, Senior Vice President of marketing and strategy for IP at Synopsys. "Our silicon-proven DesignWare DDR5/4 IP has been validated using numerous SK hynix DDR5 RDIMMs at up to 6400 Mbps, helping designers minimise risk and meet their high-performance requirements of data-intensive SoCs."

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