DDR2 finally crowned DRAM king

After a much longer than expected delay, DDR2 has finally taken over as the most popular memory chip used in PCs.

After a much longer than expected delay, DDR2 (double data rate, second generation) has finally taken over as the most popular memory chip used in PCs.

The crossover to DDR2 from the previous mainstream chip, DDR-400 (double data rate, 400 megahertz) took place this week on both the spot DRAM market and the contract market, industry researcher DRAMeXchange Technology said Wednesday.

It's been a long time coming. The chips entered the market far later than expected, mainly due to heat problems. In fact, DDR-400 , which has reigned as industry leader for the past few years, was supposed to be a stop-gap chip with such a short life span that some companies hadn't even planned to support it with a chipset.

But when DDR-400 showed up on Intel Corp.'s product road map in late 2002, component makers began to move forward on DDR-400, and put off developing compatible parts for DDR2. Intel microprocessors power around 80 percent of all PCs, making an Intel stamp of approval vital to computer industry parts makers.

Advanced Micro Devices (AMD) helped further put off demand for DDR2 this year. The company waited until the middle of the year to launch its first desktop and laptop processors that support DDR2 because it didn't think initial versions of the chip added substantial performance benefits to AMD processor-based systems, yet commanded a higher price.

The first DDR2 chips ran at 400MHz and then 533MHz, but AMD waited until DDR2 chips running at 667MHz reached mass production levels, which lowered price and ensured a plentiful supply.

Currently, a wide range of Intel and AMD systems support DDR2.

DRAMeXchange noted Wednesday that prices may become an issue again for DDR2. Prices for the chips rose 8.8 percent last week, compared to the previous week, the company said, due to strong demand for PCs. The market researcher expects prices to remain strong throughout September, the traditional time when back-to-school PC buying increases buying activity in the DRAM market.

Join the newsletter!

Or

Sign up to gain exclusive access to email subscriptions, event invitations, competitions, giveaways, and much more.

Membership is free, and your security and privacy remain protected. View our privacy policy before signing up.

Error: Please check your email address.
Keep up with the latest tech news, reviews and previews by subscribing to the Good Gear Guide newsletter.

Dan Nystedt

IDG News Service
Show Comments

Brand Post

Most Popular Reviews

Latest Articles

Resources

PCW Evaluation Team

Tom Pope

Dynabook Portégé X30L-G

Ultimately this laptop has achieved everything I would hope for in a laptop for work, while fitting that into a form factor and weight that is remarkable.

Tom Sellers

MSI P65

This smart laptop was enjoyable to use and great to work on – creating content was super simple.

Lolita Wang

MSI GT76

It really doesn’t get more “gaming laptop” than this.

Jack Jeffries

MSI GS75

As the Maserati or BMW of laptops, it would fit perfectly in the hands of a professional needing firepower under the hood, sophistication and class on the surface, and gaming prowess (sports mode if you will) in between.

Taylor Carr

MSI PS63

The MSI PS63 is an amazing laptop and I would definitely consider buying one in the future.

Christopher Low

Brother RJ-4230B

This small mobile printer is exactly what I need for invoicing and other jobs such as sending fellow tradesman details or step-by-step instructions that I can easily print off from my phone or the Web.

Featured Content

Product Launch Showcase

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?