Monday, March 30th 2020

DDR5 Arrives at 4800 MT/s Speeds, First SoCs this Year

Cadence, a fabless semiconductor company focusing on the development of IP solutions and IC design and verification tools, today posted an update regarding their development efforts for the 5th generation of DDR memory which is giving us some insights into the development of a new standard. The new DDR5 standard is supposed to bring better speeds and lower voltages while being more power-efficient. In the Cadence's blog called Breakfast Bytes, one of Cadence's memory experts talked about developments of the new standards and how they are developing the IP for the upcoming SoC solutions. Even though JEDEC, a company developing memory standards, hasn't officially published DDR5 standard specifications, Cadence is working closely with them to ensure that they stay on track and be the first on the market to deliver IP for the new standard.

Marc Greenberg, a Cadence expert for memory solutions was sharing his thoughts in the blog about the DDR5 and how it is progressing. Firstly, he notes that DDR5 is going to feature 4800 MT/s speeds at first. The initial speeds will improve throughout the 12 months when the data transfer rate will increase in the same fashion we have seen with previous generation DDR standards. Mr. Greenberg also shared that the goals of DDR5 are to have larger memory dies while managing latency challenges, same speed DRAM core as DDR4 with a higher speed I/O. He also noted that the goal of the new standard is not the bandwidth, but rather capacity - there should be 24Gb of memory per die initially, while later it should go up to 32Gb. That will allow for 256 GB DIMMs, where each byte can be accessed under 100 ns, making for a very responsive system. Mr. Greenberg also added that this is the year of DDR5, as Cadence is receiving a lot of orders for their 7 nm IP which should go in production systems this year.
Cadence DDR5
Sources: Cadence, AnandTech (Image)
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28 Comments on DDR5 Arrives at 4800 MT/s Speeds, First SoCs this Year

#1
R0H1T
AleksandarK
4800 MT/s speeds at firts
first :confused:
Posted on Reply
#2
AleksandarK
R0H1T
first :confused:
Tnx for the notice :)
Posted on Reply
#5
ARF
ncrs
First iterations of new memory technologies are often slower than super refined late iterations of previous generations.
DDR5 is a strange case. Reported latencies are 42 or higher.

I doubt that anything slower than DDR5-7000 will have any meaning.
Especially with the associated high power consumption.
Notebooks work with DDR4-2400 (very often single channel at that!) and lower power saving clocks in order to keep the thermals in check.

www.techpowerup.com/243907/cadence-and-micron-demo-ddr5-4400-memory-module
Posted on Reply
#6
ncrs
ARF
DDR5 is a strange case. Reported latencies are 42 or higher.

I doubt that anything slower than DDR5-7000 will have any meaning.
Especially with the associated high power consumption.
Notebooks work with DDR4-2400 (very often single channel at that!) and lower power saving clocks in order to keep the thermals in check.

www.techpowerup.com/243907/cadence-and-micron-demo-ddr5-4400-memory-module
CAS 42 was reported almost 2 years ago. It's hard to judge the standard from prototypes anyway. We'll have to see finished products and even then it'll improve just like with every previous DDR standard.
Posted on Reply
#7
londiste
IIRC the proposed spec had DDR5-4400 CL at 33-36-39.
ARF
Especially with the associated high power consumption.
Notebooks work with DDR4-2400 (very often single channel at that!) and lower power saving clocks in order to keep the thermals in check.
DDR5 is specced at 1.1V, so power consumption should be lower. Notebooks going with DDR4-2400 probably have more to do with very few faster by-spec DDR4 modules being available. Even now, you are hard-pressed to find modules that would run at spec 1.2V and would be faster than DDR4-2666.
Posted on Reply
#8
ARF
ncrs
CAS 42 was reported almost 2 years ago. It's hard to judge the standard from prototypes anyway. We'll have to see finished products and even then it'll improve just like with every previous DDR standard.
It will be years before it improves. Until then, users will happily use Zen 3-based Vermeer with DDR4-4400 and then skip to DDR6 or HBM3 or whatever memory technology replaces DDR5.
Posted on Reply
#9
londiste
@ARF, there is absolutely nothing new in this. This was exactly the same case with DDR4, DDR3 and DDR2...
Posted on Reply
#10
ARF
londiste
@ARF, there is absolutely nothing new in this. This was exactly the same case with DDR4, DDR3 and DDR2...
The new is the added gigantic memory CAS latency.
DDR3 at CAS11, then DDR4 at CAS14, now you want DDR5 at CAS33 in the best case.

I find now that DDR3 has CAS6, CAS7... CAS9 as well. :eek:

I remember an AData Kit DDR3-1333 CAS11. :(
Posted on Reply
#11
ncrs
I still don't see the problem. CAS specified as a number can't be compared directly without the associated data or command rate (MT/s or MHz). You have to compare actual time. This is the cycle, pun intended, of DDR development.
Posted on Reply
#12
Steevo
Trace length at those speeds without using higher voltage and higher termination which costs power consumption and heat generated is the biggest issue, capacitive roll off and the ability to stop the angry electrons from quantum tunneling through cells and gates.



I'm surprised we don't have a fast decoupler chip on the RAM PCB, but that itself adds complexity, cost, and latency.
Posted on Reply
#13
ppn
5400 CL32 1.1V should complement well Alder Lake running at the same frequency.
Posted on Reply
#14
londiste
ARF
The new is the added gigantic memory CAS latency.
DDR3 at CAS11, then DDR4 at CAS14, now you want DDR5 at CAS33 in the best case.

I find now that DDR3 has CAS6, CAS7... CAS9 as well. :eek:
JEDEC spec and actual modules are different. DDR4-3200 JEDEC spec is CL 20-24 (at 1.2V). One of the most popular DDR3 speeds DDR3-1600 has spec CL 8-11. DDR2-800 has spec CL 4-6.
Manufacturers have always sold modules that go far beyond spec.
Posted on Reply
#15
gamefoo21
I had DDR2 at CL5 1066

I had DDR3 at CL9 1866

I had DDR4 at CL15 2666

Now I'll have DDR5 at CL22 4400

The clocks keep climbing but so does the latency!

:cool:
Posted on Reply
#16
ARF
gamefoo21
Now I'll have DDR5 at CL22 4400
There is DDR4-4400 CL19 that is faster and better.
Posted on Reply
#17
ncrs
gamefoo21
The clocks keep climbing but so does the latency!
:cool:
Does the latency increase?

DDR2-1066 @ CL5 is ~9.4ns
DDR3-1866 @ CL9 is ~9.6ns
DDR4-2666 @ CL15 is ~11.3ns
DDR5-4400 @ CL22 is 10ns

But the highest value for the preliminary JEDEC DDR5 is 6400MT/s which has already been presented by SK Hynix.

DDR5-6400 @ CL22 is ~6.9ns
DDR5-6400 @ CL32 is 10ns

We don't know the final timings yet either way.

One other thing is the adoption rate. We've only recently been able to use DDR4-3200 officially with Zen 2 and Ice Lake. Intel still doesn't officially support anything faster than DDR4-2933 in Xeons as far as I know. Even Cascade Lake Refresh is capped at that. Therefore DDR5 will take time to ramp up and DDR4 will be superior in performance to the early iterations.
ARF
There is DDR4-4400 CL19 that is faster and better.
But that's not JEDEC-specc. DDR5 in the preliminary specc goes to 6400. How high will it go if you make speedier modules? >9000? :)
Posted on Reply
#18
ARF
ncrs
Does the latency increase?

DDR2-1066 @ CL5 is ~9.4ns
DDR3-1866 @ CL9 is ~9.6ns
DDR4-2666 @ CL15 is ~11.3ns
DDR5-4400 @ CL22 is 10ns

But the highest value for the preliminary JEDEC DDR5 is 6400MT/s which has already been presented by SK Hynix.

DDR5-6400 @ CL22 is ~6.9ns
DDR5-6400 @ CL32 is 10ns

We don't know the final timings yet either way.

One other thing is the adoption rate. We've only recently been able to use DDR4-3200 officially with Zen 2 and Ice Lake. Intel still doesn't officially support anything faster than DDR4-2933 in Xeons as far as I know. Even Cascade Lake Refresh is capped at that. Therefore DDR5 will take time to ramp up and DDR4 will be superior in performance to the early iterations.



But that's not JEDEC-specc. DDR5 in the preliminary specc goes to 6400. How high will it go if you make speedier modules? >9000? :)
Why don't we use DDR4 at 4400 and instead move so fast to DDR5 starting from lower or the same?

JEDEC is free to certify DDR4-4400.

But I'm not sure that AMD is ready to design a memory controller which can support such speeds.
Hopefully, they will investigate the issues with DDR5 and decide whether it's worth it to move on to it.
Posted on Reply
#19
ncrs
ARF
Why don't we use DDR4 at 4400 and instead move so fast to DDR5 starting from lower or the same?
Because it's the same situation we've faced before in every generation.

1. Those speeds came years after JEDEC DDR4 was created.
2. You can't make enough of the highest performance chips.
3. The server market is on a completely different cadence than the consumer market. Everything takes longer there. Nobody will take time to certify a DDR4-4400 memory line just to have it replaced in 2 years. No manufacturer will give you the same guarantees for DDR4-4400 as they do with JEDEC standard ones. The memory types used in servers have a lot of differences from the mainstream (ECC, LRDIMM, RDIMM and so on).
ARF
JEDEC is free to certify DDR4-4400.
Sure, but nobody (in the server market) would use it compared to the older versions of the standard. It's just easier to everybody to move to the next tier which is DDR5.
ARF
But I'm not sure that AMD is ready to design a memory controller which can support such speeds.
Hopefully, they will investigate the issues with DDR5 and decide whether it's worth it to move on to it.
I'm not sure why you think that AMD, a company that has enormous experience in memory, would have any problems with designing a memory controller. They have used various DDRs, GDDRs and even HBM in their own designs. If anything they are the experts in this field :)
Posted on Reply
#20
Vya Domus
ARF
There is DDR4-4400 CL19 that is faster and better.
No it's not, what are you talking about. What's "faster and better" even supposed to mean in this context ? DDR5 will practically double the bandwidth, that's the main reason these things come out. Modern CPU's fetch instructions and data in chunks for multiple cores at once, the latency pales in comparison with the huge uptick in bandwidth.

The more instructions and data you fetch at once the less likely you are to need more additional access times for data that wasn't found in the cache lines moved. It's all designed very well with a clear purpose in mind, you should learn how these things actually work before you come up with these claims.

Imagine having billion dollar companies come up with designs that are worse and presumably no one noticed except you, come on.

Don't believe me, look at AMD's chiplet design which technically produces abhorrent memory access times compared to equivalent processors yet they even outperform them.
Posted on Reply
#21
lynx29
Vya Domus
No it's not, what are you talking about. What's "faster and better" even supposed to mean in this context ? DDR5 will practically double the bandwidth, that's the main reason these things come out. Modern CPU's fetch instructions and data in chunks for multiple cores at once, the latency pales in comparison with the huge uptick in bandwidth.

The more instructions and data you fetch at once the less likely you are to need more additional access times for data that wasn't found in the cache lines moved. It's all designed very well with a clear purpose in mind, you should learn how these things actually work before you come up with these claims.

Imagine having billion dollar companies come up with designs that are worse and presumably no one noticed except you, come on.

Don't believe me, look at AMD's chiplet design which technically produces abhorrent memory access times compared to equivalent processors yet they even outperform them.
In your opinion, will DDR5 give us legit gains in gaming at say 1440p high refresh? Or does this only benefit stuff like 4k and 8k? or will it be like most ram now, even a 3000 cas 15 is only like 5-10 fps behind the most baller ddr4 out there?
Posted on Reply
#22
Vya Domus
lynx29
In your opinion, will DDR5 give us legit gains in gaming at say 1440p high refresh? Or does this only benefit stuff like 4k and 8k? or will it be like most ram now, even a 3000 cas 15 is only like 5-10 fps behind the most baller ddr4 out there?
It'll benefit new processors that are bandwidth starved.
Posted on Reply
#24
EarthDog
londiste
JEDEC spec and actual modules are different. DDR4-3200 JEDEC spec is CL 20-24 (at 1.2V). One of the most popular DDR3 speeds DDR3-1600 has spec CL 8-11. DDR2-800 has spec CL 4-6.
Manufacturers have always sold modules that go far beyond spec.
DDR4 3200 JEDEC spec is CL22-22-22-52 1.2V.
www.tomshardware.com/news/first-native-ddr4-3200-ram-century-micro,39804.html
ARF
There is DDR4-4400 CL19 that is faster and better.
lol... nothing new dude... nothing at all, move on...

As time goes on, they tighten down and speed up....you are not saying anything most don't know already.

All it brings, especially out of the gate, is lower operating voltage (yipee!). In many home/consumer cases, memory bandwidth isn't a concern in the first place... so... cool, another iteration of memory. :)
ARF
JEDEC is free to certify DDR4-4400.
The problem is that not all memory controllers can handle that speed. JEDEC is a baseline specification designed for compatibility and stability. Your XMP profiles are overclocking the IMC, but not the sticks themselves as they are rated to perform that speed.
Posted on Reply
#25
Nephilim666
Always buy memory at the end of it's technological lifecycle. You will always get the best bang for buck.

I still have 32GB of quad channel DDR3 2133 9-11-10-28 running on my x79 system. I'm putting 128GB DDR4 3600 16-19-19-39 in my TR3 system.

Early adopters pay a high price and a high performance penalty when it comes to RAM. The exception is chips that become 'legendary' like BH5, Micron D9 and Samsung B-die which shot up in cost when people figured them out.
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