SAN FRANCISCODouble Data Rate 3 (DDR3) SDRAM, the state of the art in commodity memory technology, is expected to rise to dominance by the second quarter of 2010, according to new projections from market research firm iSuppli Corp.
DDR3 shipments will rise to account for more than half of the global DRAM market by the second quarter of 2010, surpassing DDR2 for the first time as the leading technology for PC main memory, according to iSuppli (El Segundo, Calif.).
DDR3's share of the DRAM market in terms of gigabit-equivalent shipments will rise to 50.9 percent in the second quarter of 2010, up from just 1 percent in the second quarter of 2008 and 14.2 percent in the second quarter of 2009, iSuppli said. By the end of 2010, DDR3 will grow to account for 71 percent of shipments, according to the firm.
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Mike Howard, senior DRAM analyst for iSuppli, noted in a statement issued by the firm that DDR3 is 50 percent faster than DDR2 technology while using about 30 percent less power.
"For PC users across the board, this means faster performance," Howard said. "For notebook users, it can result in longer battery life."
The major factors driving the industry's transition to DDR3 are new Intel Corp. microprocessors and the increasing manufacturability of the part, according to iSuppli. Intel's latest-generation microprocessor microarchitecture, dubbed Nehalem, employs a memory controller that supports only DDR3.
Some, including dominant memory vendor Samsung Electronics Co. Ltd., had predicted that DDR3 would become the mainstream memory technology by the end of 2009. But the transition was delayed by the global recession and other factors.
While DDR3 prices have been falling, the cost of DDR2 to PC makers actually has risen in recent months because of supply constraints, according to iSuppli. Despite the rapid rise of DDR3, DDR2 is expected to command significant volumes throughout 2010, accounting for 15.4 percent of gigabit-equivalent shipments the fourth quarter, iSuppli said.
ISuppli is offering for sale a new report about the DDR3 transition through the firm's website.