Infineon expects to sample DDR 3 memory chips in 18 months' time, the memory maker said at Intel Developer Forum Taiwan this week.
It may not be the first to do so. Samsung has already claimed to have produced the world's first DDR 3 part, a 512Mb chip, so is likely to be the first company to sample the next generation of double data-rate memory. In February, it pledged to ship the chip early 2006.
In any case, sampling and shipping in commercial quantities are not the same thing, not least because the DIMMs the chips will be mounted on have to have compatible motherboards to slot into. With DDR 2, compatible chipsets didn't emerge for 12-18 months after DDR 2 chips began sampling. The DDR 3 ramp could be faster, but it's unlikely to emerge as a viable platform until 2007 or 2008.
Indeed, at its launch Samsung pointed to a forecast from market watcher IDC that DDR 3 won't become mainstream until the end of the decade. According to IDC, DDR 3 will account for 65 per cent of DRAM shipments in 2009.
Samsung's DDR 3 part operates at 1.5V, down from DDR 2's 1.8V, and can be clocked to 1066MHz. The chip incorporates self-calibration and data synchronisation circuitry which contribute to a data rate double that of today's DDR 2 systems. ®
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