DDR3L vs. LPDDR3

What is the difference between DDR3L and LPDDR3?  Ever since JEDEC announced the release of LPDDR3 specification in May, 2012, we’ve received many inquiries as to the differences between the two technologies.  DDR3L is the 1.35V version of DDR3 (note:  DDR3U will be the 1.25V version) and was designed to lower power consumption in servers, desktops and embedded systems.  It is typically used on module form factors like MiniDIMM, SoDIMM, standard and low profile DIMMs and even VLP DIMM.  DDR3L components come in x4, x8 and x16 configurations and integrate a DLL to align the read data strobe to the clock.

In contrast, LPDDR3 was designed specifically for mobile devices like smartphones, tablets and ultrabooks.  These devices run on batteries and mobile DDR was designed for this specific usage model.  Since handheld devices typically utilize only one chip per channel, LPDDR3 does not integrate a DLL, thereby allowing it to go into very low power standby states.  Also, since there are usually only one or two components, LPDDR3 comes in x16 or x32 configurations to maximize bandwidth.  Finally, LPDDR3 supports Partial Array Self Refresh (PASR) and Deep Power Down (DPR) functions to further decrease power consumption.

Both DDR3L and LPDDR3 are governed by JEDEC – DDR3L spec is JESD79-3 and LPDDR3 spec is JESD209-3.

Virtium provides DDR3L modules specifically for embedded systems.  If you are interested in learning more about LPDDR3, please visit our strategic partner, Samsung.

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