Micron Technology has announced the industry's first 2Gbit double data rate (DDR) 3 memory chips and has begun sampling them to customers.

This announcement means that it is the highest density DDR3 part available on the market. It also means 8GB and 16GB modules for servers, and 4GB modules for desktop and notebook PCs.

This represents the next generation of DRAM. Micron has begun sampling 2GB DDR3 memory chips, enabling the production of 16GB memory modules for servers and 4GB modules for desktop and notebook PCs.

In effect, the next DRAM density generation is on its way with mass production expected to begin in the first three months of 2008. The chips are built with a 78nm process and have speeds up to 1,333MHz. It means a 100,000 page document could be transferred into memory in about a second.

Computer-makers will be able to buy memory modules with fewer components which in turn will lower costs and reduce power consumption. The Micron DDR3 part for example uses 1.5 volts instead of 1.8.

64-bit servers will be able to double memory capacity by using 16GB modules instead of 8GB ones. 32-bit systems will be able to use one chip where two or more might be used at present, but will not be able to escape the 32-bit memory addressing limit of 4GB.

According to IDC, by the fourth quarter of 2008, average PCs will have 2.1GB of RAM, x86servers 11.2GB or more, while notebook PCs more than 1.8GB. Operating systems like Vista and Apple's Leopard require lots of memory to perform well, and the DRAM sales trend is set to steadily increase.

Hynix and Samsung have had their DDR3 chips validated by Intel whose chipsets support the DDR3 format. Samsung expected to ship parts then later this year. JDEC agreed the DDR3 standard earlier this year.