Hello Intel Embedded Community!
many Intel CPUs require the use of DDR3/DDR3L memory, Depending on the design&application, either soldered-down memory components are used, or there are slots for memory-modules in form factors like SO-DIMM, unbuffered DIMM, Mini DIMM, RDIMM etc.
The world's largest memory manufacturers Hynix and Samsung both have announced End-Of-Life for their complete line of their DDR3 memory modules in all form-factors, with last-time-buy dates in middle of 2018!
While the production of most DDR3 chips/components will be continued, there are some devices that also are becoming obsolete. For example, Hynix, Samsung and also Micron will discontinue the supply for high capacity DDR3 8 Gigabit Dual-Die-Packaged (=DDP / two chip-select lines, short "2CS") components.
While Micron still continues manufacturing 8Gb monolithic devices (with 1 Chip-Select line, short "1CS"), such 1CS 8Gb DDR3 components are unfortunately not compatible to the majority of Intel processors, as the MRC can only identify a maximum of 4 Gigabit per chip-select and chip. However, some of the newer Intel CPUs released since year 2015 are able to take 8Gb DDR3 components with 1CS (no matter if soldered down or used on modules)
DDR3 8Gb DDP 2CS components are mandatory to produce server modules such as 32GB RDIMM or LRDIMM or 16GB VLP RDIMM, etc. As a conclusion, even all the third party manufacturers of DRAM modules such as Smart, Virtium, Viking, Kingston etc will not be able to continue the production of many of their high-capacity DDR3 server modules such as 32GB RDIMM or LRDIMM or 16GB VLP RDIMM, etc.
Well, that sounds like a really bad situation coming up! But the good news is: There is a solution!
The DRAM manufacturer Intelligent Memory (short "IM", website http://www.intelligentmemory.com) has just released a new series of 8Gb DDR3 devices with long term supply. Their parts are available as Single-Chip-Select (1CS) parts, but also - and this is important - as 2CS Dual Die (DDP) devices in organizations of x4, x8 as well as x16. Especially the x4 and x8 organized 8Gb DDR3 DDP components are important for making server memory modules, while SO-DIMMs and unbuffered DIMMsas well as most solder-down-memory takes x8 or x16.
Intelligent Memory is also offering own DDR3 modules in all the important form-factors, including SO-DIMM and UDIMM with and without ECC, but also server modules such as RDIMM, LRDIMM, as well as special form-factors like Mini UDIMM or Mini RDIMM.
As IM also sells the DDR3 DRAM chips/components, it can be expected that we will soon see other module-manufacturers offering their modules based on these new DRAMs from IM.
Today I talked to Joseph Chan, GM of Intelligent Memory. He mentioned to me that they plan to continue DDR3 production for a long time and are even working on new DDR3 components with a capacity of 16Gb (!!!) with two Chip-Selects. It is good to see that their is a good future of DDR3 supply and even new developments!
I hope this information is helpful for many Intel users that have to rely on DDR3 supply for the next years ;-)