DDR5 Is Fast But Samsung Is Already Looking Ahead To DDR6 Memory At 17,000MHz

Samsung DDR6
We have only now entered into the era of DDR5 memory with the introduction of Intel's Alder Lake platform pushing us through the door, and it will take some time for the latest memory standard to gain significant traction. That's to say, DDR4 isn't going to disappear from the market in the near future. Nevertheless, Samsung is already looking ahead to what eventually comes next and has an idea of how fast its DDR6 and GDDR7 memory modules will end up being.

Sometimes it feels like the pace of technology has only one speed. However, bearing in mind that newfangled products are often developed years in advance, it's understandable that one of the largest chip makers would be talking about memory standards that are still a fair ways off in the distance. So, what can we expect?

Well let's start with the emergence of DDR5 memory. Initial data rates typically range from 4,800MT/s to 6,400MT/s, as outlined by JEDEC's official specifications. In time, memory makers will coax faster data rates out of DDR5 memory modules as well as tighter timings. The market should be a bit more robust by the time AMD joins Intel in DDR5 territory with the release of Zen 4 next year.

Looking past all that, Samsung talked a bit about its memory roadmap during its recent Tech Day 2021 event. To that end, DDR6 is already in the initial stages of planning and development, with Samsung collaborating with members of JEDEC on the next-gen memory standard, which could be drafted as early as 2024.

Actual DDR6 modules probably won't manifest until at least 2025 if not later. For reference, DDR4 was released to market in 2014 and is still going strong. In any event, DDR6 memory is expected to once again double the data rate, to a JEDEC specification of 12,800MT/s.

Memory makers won't stop there, though. Samsung is already talking about overclocked DDR6 modules hitting 17,000MT/s. It will also boast four 16-bit memory channels, yielding 64 memory banks. That's four times as many as DDR4, and twice the number of DDR5.

In addition to being in the early stages of DDR6 development, Samsung also talked about GDDR7. At present, Samsung churns out GDDR6 memory modules with data rates of up to 18,000MT/s for graphics cards and plans to increase that 24,000MT/s soon. GDDR7 will go even further, with Samsung throwing 32,000MT/s out there. This paves the way for gobs of bandwidth (hello 8K gaming, maybe), and it will also have a real-time error protection feature.

Samsung's future DDR6 and GDDR7 plans are certainly scintillating, even if they're still years away.