DDR5 memory is coming soon. Here’s why it matters.

Memory is performance, and DDR5 promises much faster memory at a lower power draw.

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This year, server vendors will begin shifting to a new form of memory, Double Data Rate version 5, or DDR5 for short. With its improved performance, it will be very appealing in certain use cases, like virtualization and artificial intelligence. We’ll get to that in a minute.

The DDR spec has been developed by the Joint Electronic Device Engineering Council since 2001, and with each iteration the spec supports faster speed and lower power draw. This holds true for DDR5.

With DDR4 memory chips have a clock speed ranging from DDR4-1600 up to DDR4-3200, or 1600Mhz to 3200Mhz, while DDR5 starts at DDR5-3200 and will eventually scale up to DDR5-6400.

DDR5 memory also features a minor power reduction. DDR5’s operating voltage is 1.1 volts, down from DDR4’s 1.2 volts. That may not seem like much, but multiply that over hundreds or even thousands of DIMMs in a data center, and you start to add up to some real power savings.

Chip density has also greatly increased. DDR4 memory maxed out at 16Gb chips, but DDR5-based memory chips will eventually reach up to 64Gb.

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