What is DDR3 RAM? - Explained

DDR3 DIMM RAM

Image of a DDR3 SDRAM manufactured by ADATA.

DDR3 RAM, the third generation synchronous dynamic random access memory or DDR3 SDRAM introduced in 2007 and the superseding by the DDR2 SDRAM dual data rate family.

What is DDR3 RAM?

DDR3 SDRAM was the fastest dual data rate ever back in 2007. DDR3 SDRAM enables the computer system to transfer data twice the rate and enables higher bandwidth and peak data rates in double data rate family. The higher rates were achieved by using two transfers per cycle of a quadrupled clock signal. Due to the higher advancements, the DDR3 SDRAM could achieve 64 times memory clock speed and can be calculated by MHz. DDR3 SDRAM are capable enough to offer a maximum transfer speed of 6400 MB/s.

Compared with the DDR2 SDRAM family, DDR3 SDRAM uses less power which is 1.8v or 1.9v in DDR2 SDRAM and 1.35v or 1.5 in DDR3 SDRAM. 1.5v supply in DDR3 SDRAM enables the 90 nano meter semiconductor fabrication technology which is used in the DDR3 chips to achieve higher transfer speeds inside the chip itself. But in higher performance machines like servers, 1.575 volts fabrication also used to achieve the maximum memory stability.

DDR3 and DDR2 Notch Difference

Two Images of DDR2 and DDR3 DIMM SDRAM.

DDR3 SDRAMs uses 240 pins to connect with the mother board or the main board. There were multiple DDR3 SDRAMs were introduced in the market with a wide range of frequencies inbuilt. DDR3 family SDRAMs were introduced to support both desktop computers which does have DIMM type and SO-DIMM to mobile PC like laptops.

DDR3 SDRAMs are not backward compatible which means the DDR3 type RAMs are not connectable to DDR2 SDRAM sockets and does not comply with the data transfer architecture which is in DDR2. Also DDR2 RAMs are not connectable to DDR3 SDRAM sockets due to the difference in the notch and the architecture difference in the both RAMs.