Samsung has begun sample production of a new type of DDR (double data rate) SDRAM (synchronous dynamic random access memory) chip that is 25 percent faster that the fastest memory chips currently in widespread use.

DDR333 memory has a data throughput of nearly 2.7GBps (gigabytes per second) compared to current DDR266 memory, which has data throughput of 2.1GBps. Samsung is expected to begin mass production later this year, at about the same time as other companies.

For users, this means performance should be increased because data can flow faster between the memory and the rest of the computer. Performance increases are most likely to be seen in applications that involve large amounts of data, such as video or graphics.

Samsung said it is aiming the chip at the high-performance PC, server and workstation market where such benefits will most readily be recognised. It will also push the memory for use in products such as game consoles, digital TVs and set-top boxes.