By Tamara I. Schmitz, Director of Memory and Power, Technical Marketing, Xilinx
A seismic shift is shaking up the memory landscape. The cause for this shift is the fact that the line of incredibly popular DDR memories, a fundamental buffer used by 90 percent of Xilinx customers, will end with DDR4. This is not cause for immediate panic—DDR3 has a comfortable address on the majority of system boards (see the figure below showing the RAM usage by Xilinx MIG—Memory Interface Generator—users) and DDR4, though ramping slowly, will replace some of those sockets and serve them for years to come. Still, with the knowledge that DDR4 has no natural successor, customers are eyeing the next crop of memories and mulling over trade-offs such as bandwidth, capacity or power reductions. The likely successor is LPDDR3/4, with certain application spaces preferring serial DRAM solutions such as Hybrid Memory Cube (HMC).