What is DDR5? The Latest Industrial DRAM Module Generation


In an era increasingly reliant on edge and embedded computing, especially with the ascent of Edge AI, our hardware systems face the demanding challenge of handling ever-expanding data workloads. Thanks to the innovative hybrid architecture introduced by the new Intel 12th (Alder Lake) and 13th Raptor Lake generation processors, we now have access to enhanced speeds and more energy-efficient operation through DDR5 SDRAM technologies. These advancements empower computers to tackle resource-intensive tasks like AI-driven applications and video processing. In this blog post, we'll investigate industrial DDR5 memory compatibility with Intel's 12th and 13th Generation Core Processors.

In this blog we will cover: 

  • What is DDR5 SDRAM?
  • What is the difference between DDR5 and DDR4?
  • How DDR5 memory benefits the industrial-grade applications?  
  • How can Edge AI leverage DDR5?
  • The Importance of High-Speed RAM for Industrial Computers

What is DDR5 SDRAM?

DDR5 SDRAM, short for Double Data Rate 5 Synchronous Dynamic Random Access Memory, marks the fifth generation of DDR. It offers speed, efficiency, and overall performance improvements compared to its predecessor, DDR4. Unlike its predecessor, DDR4, DDR5 was engineered to reduce power consumption while simultaneously doubling the available bandwidth. This improvement is attributed to incorporating on-board voltage regulators in DDR5 modules, enabling higher speeds. 

What is the difference between DDR5 and DDR4 memory?

DDR5 vs DDR4
Specification  DDR4  DDR5  
Bandwidth  Maximum 3200 MT/s  4800-5600 MT/s 
Capacity  32GB per module  Up to 128GB per module 
IO Voltage 1.2V   1.1V 
Bank groups  16 banks  32 banks 
Burst Length  8 16
Latency  Lower Latency   Higher Latency 
Power Management On motherboard  On Module 
On-die ECC Not standard  Available in some modules for better data integrity
  • DDR5 offers higher bandwidth and a significant increase in data transfer rates compared to DDR4, allowing for smoother performance in data-heavy tasks.  
  • DDR5 modules can support a much larger capacity of up to 128GB per module. This means DDR5 can store more data or applications in memory at once.  
  • DDR5 operates at a slightly lower voltage than DDR4. Lower voltage typically translates to better power efficiency and potentially longer lifespan. However, one point must be accepted that DDR5 generates more heat than DDR4.  
  • DDR5 has doubled the number of bank groups and burst length compared to DDR4, making DDR5 improve data access times and overall performance.  
  • While DDR5 has higher latency than DDR4, it's worth noting that latency is just one factor in memory performance. DDR5's other advantages may outweigh this in many applications.  
  • DDR4 manages its power on the motherboard, while DDR5 has shifted this function directly onto the memory module itself. This can offer more precise and efficient power management for DDR5.  
  • Error-correcting code (ECC) can detect and correct data corruption. While DDR4 ECC memory is typically managed by the memory controller, DDR5 offers on-die ECC, which improves error correction efficiency and data reliability. 

How DDR5 memory benefits the industrial-grade application?

Edge computing systems handle vast data from numerous sensors and devices while deployed at remote locations. DDR5 power efficiency can accommodate the scarce energy source that rugged edge applications often have. Moreover, these systems require robust memory for their complex computations and analytics. While DDR3 and DDR4 met past needs, DDR5 is designed for today's challenges. DDR5 offers enhanced application flexibility, aiding users in managing large data sets, detailed simulations, and analytics. This build-up capacity boosts the performance of edge computing systems, facilitating the execution of a broader range of applications and algorithms.

How can Edge AI leverage DDR5?

DDR5 plays a vital role in empowering Edge AI devices. As AI continues to move closer to the data source at the edge, the part of advanced memory technologies like DDR5 becomes even more pronounced, ensuring that Edge AI systems are both efficient and capable. DDR5 memory boosts Edge AI's performance in several ways: 

  • Faster data processing, essential for real-time applications like self-driving cars. 
  • Improved power efficiency, beneficial for battery-operated devices. 
  • Ability to handle large data locally, applicable in low-connectivity situations. 
  • Capability for multitasking, allowing devices to run several AI tasks at once. 
  • Enhanced data reliability due to DDR5's on-die ECC feature. 
  • Futureproofing for evolving AI demands. 
  • Support for complex AI models directly on devices. 
  • Reduced AI operation latency, vital for applications needing quick feedback. 

The Importance of High-Speed RAM for Industrial Computers

Without a doubt, RAM (Random Access Memory) plays a crucial role in determining the efficiency and speed of industrial computers. It is the system's short-term memory, where active data is stored and processed. More RAM equates to a greater capacity for concurrent data handling, enhancing performance.   

Industrial computers, tasked with intricate operations, require swift data access and adept multitasking. DDR5 with higher GT (4.8 to 5.6 GT/s) ensures seamless multitasking, rapid data retrieval, and improved performance in graphics-intensive tasks. However, when considering upgrades or new builds, it's imperative to ensure component compatibility and be mindful of potential system bottlenecks. Staying ahead and future-proofing hardware is vital in a rapidly evolving technological landscape. 


Both Intel 12th and 13th Generation CPU processors are compatible with DDR5. While DDR5 offers superior bandwidth and speed, latency remains an area for improvement.

For those seeking robust, future-ready industrial solutions, the RCO-6000-RPL AI Edge Inference Computer is an ideal choice. Premio's latest AI Edge Inference Computer supports Intel Alder/Raptor Lake CPUs, DDR5 memory, and speeds up to PCIe 5.0. This system epitomizes the benefits of modern technological advancements in industrial computing.


The RCO-6000-RPL follows a two-piece modular structure with the top module being the rugged Industrial Computer and the performance accelerator, EDGEBoost Node, for the bottom module. Users can pick and choose from a selection of performance acceleration to provide customization and flexibility to best suit their deployments  

  • Intel® 13th/12th Gen RPL/ADL CPU  
  • LGA 1700 socket for 12/13th Gen 
  • Intel® R680E Chipset 
  • 2x DDR5 4800/5600MHz SODIMM 
  • 8x DI + 8x DO with isolation 
  • Triple Independent Display  
  • EDGEBoost I/O Modules for AI/NVMe 
  • EDGEBoost Node Support for GPU & Storage integration 
  • UL Listed 


Is DDR5 worth it? 
DDR5 is worth it if you want to invest in a high-performance platform. Platforms like Intel's 12th/13th Gen Core (code-named Alder Lake/Raptor Lake) are pushing the boundaries of performance by offering more CPU cores than ever before. To make sure you get the most out of the performance of the CPU, DDR5 is the best choice. 

Is DDR5 actually better than DDR4? 
DDR5 is an upgraded version of DDR4. It's faster, uses less power, and has some cool new features. For instance, DDR5 can handle two memory channels in one unit, has built-in error checking for better data accuracy, and manages refreshments smarter. Plus, its design makes it ready for apps that need a lot of data. However, adoption requires compatible hardware, and initial costs may be higher due to the novelty of the technology. 

Can DDR5 work on DDR4 motherboard? 
DDR5 RAM is not compatible with DDR4 motherboards. DDR5 and DDR4 are different generations of DDR, and they have different physical and electrical specifications. To use DDR5 RAM, you would need a motherboard that specifically supports DDR5 memory. Attempting to install DDR5 RAM in a DDR4 motherboard would not be physically possible and could potentially damage both the motherboard and the RAM. Always make sure that the RAM you purchase is compatible with your motherboard's specifications.  

What is the future of DDR5? Will there be a DDR6? 
As technology continues to evolve, there's always potential for further iterations of DDR memory. While DDR5 is the latest standard, the tech industry is always looking ahead. There's no official announcement regarding DDR6 yet, but advancements in memory technology will undoubtedly continue. 

What is GT/s? 
GT/s stands for Giga-transfers per second, representing one billion operations or data transfers in a second. It's a measure used in computer hardware, especially for data buses and interfaces. There are also MT/s (million transfers per second) and KT/s (thousand transfers per second).  

What’s the difference between GT/s vs. Gbps? 
GT/s measures the frequency of data transfers, whereas Gbps represents the volume of data bits transferred. Think of GT/s as the number of trains arriving at a station in an hour, and Gbps as the total passengers these trains carry. This highlights the difference between transfer frequency and data volume.