Micron recently announced the availability of their 30nm DDR3L-RS (formerly DDR3Lm) memory, which could prove particularly beneficial for Ultrabooks and other ultrathin computing devices. Just what is DDR3L-RS memory? It’s a new type of memory that improves overall system power consumption by reducing self refresh power (IDD6). That may not matter much for desktops where an extra watt of power draw is hardly noticeable, but when you’re using an Ultrabook that idles at well under 10W even a 250mW reduction in power draw can yield a significant improvement in battery life. Micron also notes that the new 2Gb and 4Gb solutions will reduce standby power requirements, allowing a laptop to remain in suspension for much longer. Perhaps more importantly, DDR3L should be able to do all of this while providing the same high performance of traditional DDR3 memory, and pricing will be “competitive”.

Micron is also the first vendor with DDR3L-RS products to be validated by Intel, giving them a leg up on the competition. In addition to the current 2Gb and 4Gb devices, Micron has also begun sampling 8Gb x 32 DDR3L-RS and is delivering 8Gb x 16 DDR3L-RS. Production for both is slated for December 2012. These products should help reduce board space by increasing density, which is again particularly beneficial for the new wave of ultrathin computing devices—and hopefully it spells the end of 4GB non-upgradeable Ultrabooks. Finally, Micron expects additional power and footprint savings with the launch of DDR4-RS in early 2013. 

Source: Micron Press Release

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  • 1008anan - Thursday, September 20, 2012 - link

    Any speculation on how power efficient DDR4-RS might be?
  • JarredWalton - Thursday, September 20, 2012 - link

    I don't have any... I'm assuming (perhaps incorrectly) that you'll need new CPUs to even work with DDR4-RS in the first place, as if it's like the previous DDR -> DDR2 -> DDR3 transitions there won't be backwards compatibility. If my assumption is correct, by the time we see DDR4-RS in ultrathin products, we'll all be running Haswell or later CPUs (or the AMD equivalent). In that case, the CPU efficiency will also be substantially higher, but I suppose when we're idling at 5W and less on laptops, every little bit helps.

    PS: Funny thing, googling "DDR4-RS", the top two hits are my short article and Micron's press release, neither of which will tell you anything about DDR4-RS. :-\
  • JFish222 - Thursday, September 20, 2012 - link

    Any word on if they can be mixed w/ standard sodimms or if any other board / memory controller requirements exist?

    ie: By an ultrabook now, drop these in later?

    I wonder if the bios needs to be "RS" aware to accomodate the new refresh cycle rate.

  • JarredWalton - Friday, September 21, 2012 - link

    I spoke with Micron some more today and have some additional information on the memory and some other items. Basically, DDR3L-RS should work in any device without any extra work on the part of the laptop/tablet/whatever manufacturer.
  • Impulses - Saturday, September 22, 2012 - link

    Wow, so essentially this should be standard on the better ultrabooks/tablets coming out early next year? Win 8's release would go over much better if it was accompanied by Haswell and a lot of other tech we'll be seeing by next year IMO, early Win 8 concepts (specially anything on Clover Trail) just feel like there's too many comprises being made...
  • epobirs - Thursday, September 27, 2012 - link

    Microsoft's x86 version of the Surface tablet and a number of other announced products are all not due to ship until several months after Windows 8. I think you can guess why.

    Hopefully this means they're seeing very good results from engineering samples of Haswell and that made them favor the delay.
  • code65536 - Friday, September 21, 2012 - link

    So, what does "RS" stand for? I know "L" means low-voltage. But RS?
  • JarredWalton - Friday, September 21, 2012 - link

    Reduced Standby.
  • ssj3gohan - Sunday, September 23, 2012 - link

    Here's a breakdown of 1.5V DDR3 (regular) memory power consumption on an Ivy Bridge system running the memory in ACPI C3, DDI6:


    Very roughly 0.4W with 2 SODIMMs installed. Micron promises about a 5X improvement in power consumption, i.e. this figure goes down to sub-100mW figures.

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