With the upcoming Intel Grantsdale and Alderwood chipsets will come the first appearance of DDR2 memory and a new CPU socket 775. While the boards are not here yet, the memory is! Kingston is the first to announce shipments of next-generation 533Mhz DDR2 memory, and while it is too early to report test results in unreleased chipsets, we can show you what DDR2 actually looks like and discuss the features and specifications.

Cebit 2004 is in full swing in Germany, and Kingston is showing their recently announced DDR2 modules. While specifications for DDR2 have been available for quite a while, this is our first chance to take a closer look at shipping DDR2 modules.

New DDR2 is at the top of the picture and current DDR is at the bottom. DDR and DDR2 are exactly the same width, which will certainly generate some confusion at first. You can see that DDR2 has a denser 240-pin edge connector, while current DDR uses a 184-pin connector. If you look closely, you can see the notch is in a different location on DDR2.

The relocated notch is to prevent inserting DDR2 accidentally into boards designed for DDR. With voltage for DDR2 set at 1.8V, it would not be a good idea to mount DDR2 in a DDR socket designed for 2.5V.

DDR2 is a standard developed by JEDEC, which is the standards organization for the memory industry. Since the standard is published, there are already established speeds and naming conventions for DDR2 memory.

Basic Features: Kingston DDR2 Memory
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  • Pumpkinierre - Friday, March 19, 2004 - link

    With the hot, possibly speed limited (where's that 3.4?) Prescott and double cost slower memory not forgetting PCI-E costs and problems, looks like intel may have got themselves another rambus/willamette scenario. With dual channel Sckt939 newcastle, nF3-250 fron nVidia and DDR1-550 coming from Hynix, lets hope AMD can profit this time.

  • PrinceGaz - Friday, March 19, 2004 - link

    Although initially its sure to be both more expensive and provide little if any performance benefit over standard DDR, its clear that pairing up a bandwidth-hungry P4 processor with DDR2 memory will become the norm within a year and we'll be looking at DDR only mobos for them by then in much the same way as we considered PC100/PC133 SDRAM ones a couple of years ago.

    Its more interesting where this will leave AMD and its Athlon 64 -- presumably they need to redesign the processor to support a new faster memory-standard and that probably isn't even possible without changing the current Socket 754/939/940 to something new. Though Socket 939 isn't even here yet. While the Athlon design isn't as sensitive to memory-bandwidth as the P4, sooner or later (probably later) its sure to switch which is going to leave existing A64 owners in a dead-end. But in the meantime AMD customers should benefit from cheaper memory as well as the cheaper mobos they're used to.
  • IamTHEsnake - Friday, March 19, 2004 - link

    Until the price is in tone with performance DDR2 is not something I want. I'll bet the high end pc4400 DDR1 will even beat the 533ddr2
  • gherald - Friday, March 19, 2004 - link

    bob, they don't expect much yet. they're getting ready for when the ddr-2 chipsets *are* out.

    it would be pretty stupid to wait untill the ddr2 boards are out and *then* start looking into producing modules
  • jcsamp - Friday, March 19, 2004 - link

    Does anybody know what kind of difference the FBGA chips used here have with GeIL's WLCSP chips it uses on its Golden Dragon line? It seems the benefits listed in the article are similar to those GeIL reports.
  • bobsmith1492 - Friday, March 19, 2004 - link

    How do they expect to make money off of these if no one can use them (therefore no one would buy them) since there are no compatible motherboards (available)?
  • Jeff7181 - Friday, March 19, 2004 - link

    I'll be very interested to see a memory latency comparison when some DDR-II motherboards hit the market.

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