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SK hynix develops next-gen DRAM DDR5 for big data, AI applications

South Korea’s second-largest chipmaker SK hynix said Thursday that it has developed next-generation dynamic random-access memory, 16 gigabits DDR5, which offers speed and improved power efficiency to meet demand from sectors with intensive computing needs, such as big data analytics and artificial intelligence.

The chipmaker plans to mass produce the new product from 2020, when demand for DDR5 RAM is expected to peak on the back of a growing number of data-intensive apps requiring faster and more power-efficient memory chips.

DDR5 is a next-generation DRAM standard that offers ultra-high speed and high density, with reduced power consumption in comparison to the DDR4, the previous generation’s standard. 

(SK hynix)
(SK hynix)

The new product makes use of the same 1Ynm process technology used to manufacture DDR4 DRAM, which was recently unveiled by SK hynix.

According to the company, DDR5 DRAM consumes 30 percent less power than the preceding DDR4. Despite using less power, the DDR5 boasts a data transfer rate of 5,200 megabits per second, around 60 percent faster than the DDR4’s rate of 3,200 Mbps.

This speed translates to processing 41.6 gigabytes of data in one second, or around 11 full-HD video files sized 3.7 gigabytes each.

SK hynix claims its 16 Gb DDR5 is the first of its kind in the industry to meet specification standards of JEDEC, a semiconductor trade and engineering standardization organization.

In steps toward formal commercialization, SK said it has already provided a client chipmaker, whose name was not disclosed, with Registered Dual In-line Memory Modules and Unbuffered DIMM for server and PC platforms made using DDR5, to test out the memory chip’s compatibility and potential for formal deployment.

“Based on technological advancements that allowed the industry’s first DDR5 DRAM to meet the JEDEC standards, SK hynix plans to begin mass producing the product from 2020, when the DDR5 market is expected to open, to actively respond to the demands of clients,” Cho Joo-hwan, vice president and head of the volume product design group at SK hynix, said in a statement.

Citing market research company IDC, SK hynix said global demand for DDR5 is expected to rise from 2020, accounting for 25 percent of the total DRAM market in 2021 and 44 percent in 2022.

By Sohn Ji-young (