Intel Skylake Could Feature Dual DDR3/DDR4 Memory Support with Double IMCs

Usman Pirzada
Posted 2 years ago

[Not Confirmed] An interesting point raised by the Italian publication, stated that Intel has tucked away a very big hint pertaining to memory support in its IDF14 slide deck. Upon closer inspection the hint is about DDR3 and DDR4 support at the same time probably utilizing a Dual-IMC design . The market is now moving toward DDR4 but its prices remain quite high, so it might be possible that Intel will introduce the above-mentioned tech to hasten the transition. Intel Broadwell and Skylake Platform

Dual-IMC with DDR3 and DDR4 Support Could Grace Skylake Processors – Hints IDF14 Slides

As we told you a long time ago and as Intel later confirmed in IDF14, Skylake-S is coming in 2H 2015, most probably July. These will be quad cores and will come in i5 and i7 variants with 4 and 8 threads respectively. Skylake will of course also arrive on mobile platforms and 2-in 1 devices before the desktop release. If you notice the slide deck below, specifically the one on the right, you will notice that Intel mentions “DDR3 and DDR4” in the “future” section of the Mainstream segment. Now Intel has noted down Haswell Micro-architecture, so its near future is Broadwell and Skylake-S.

So what does ‘DDR3 and DDR4’ support for the future generations of Intel Haswell mean? Well, one option could be offering some SKUs with DDR3 and other with DDR4, but that would be awfully inconvenient from a marketing and practical point of view. Not only would that discourage growth (DDR3 users will simply buy the DDR3 variant and stick with it) but that will result in disparity between similar products: not an ideal scenario.No, a far easier option would be to introduce dual memory support using a Double IMC (Integrated Memory Circuit) on the processors. A question that comes to mind is whether Broadwell-k will benefit from Double-IMCs as well, or will the rift between the high end and mainstream will grow ever larger.

Intel believes that the pricing of DDR4 will remain high; as will the demand of Skylake processors. Migration to DDR4 should be encouraged but you can’t leave the majority of your user base behind. The answer to this dilemma lies in the company introducing Skylake with both DDR3 and DDR4 support. Intel will favor the use of DDR4 memory but if this is correct than users will not need to be worry about buying new RAMs and instead be able to focus on the new micro-architecture and step up when they are ready. DDR4 not only offers faster RAM memory  with double the density but also offers a greatly lowered electrical foot print with reduced power requirements. DDR4 RAM can be clocked upto 3200Mhz and requires 1.2V of juice to run. CAS latency will vary from 9 to 24 (DDR3 wad 5-14) while density increases from 4GB at 8 banks to 8GB at 16 banks.


Share on Facebook Share on Twitter Share on Reddit