There are also opportunities being explored to make DRAM for computers faster and more relevant. Manufacturers are backing technologies like Hybrid Memory Cube, which involves 3D stacking of DRAM and placing the memory closer to the CPU. Starting with DDR3, HMC arrays will support multiple forms of memory including DDR4 and will provide faster bandwidth than traditional DRAM via an interconnect that cuts through the memory layers. HMC is backed by the Hybrid Memory Cube Consortium, but other technologies being investigated by JEDEC include High-Bandwidth Memory and Wide-I/O, which have not attracted as much attention.
But for now, JEDEC remains focused on transitioning to DDR4, iSuppli's Howard said.
DRAM could have reached its ceiling with DDR4 and there is a possibility that a new form of memory will replace DRAM after DDR4, Howard said. Also, there are challenges in scaling down DRAM as manufacturing technologies improve.
"DDR5 is highly unlikely," Howard said.