Come 2009, PCs worldwide will be using a new breed of memory and chipsets that are twice as fast as current setups. They will allow laptop computers to have a longer battery life than is possible now.

The arrival date of the new Intel-compatible DDR3 memory became clearer yesterday when Samsung announced that the US firm had approved several of its new products .

Samsung said that Intel has now validated 21 of its DDR3 chips as being compatible with Intel's DDR3 chipsets. This sets them up for a release to PC makers later this year. Once previous-generation DDR2 memory is phased out of end-user machines, DDR3 configurations will become standard in 2009.

Built for gaming

In combination with the Intel chipsets, the new memory can transfer data twice as fast as DDR2 - up to 1.6 Gbit/s. This makes it ideal for high-end gaming and other graphics-intensive applications.

Another benefit of DDR3 is that it uses almost 20 per cent less power, which will result in longer-lasting laptop batteries. Naturally, Windows Vista is being touted as a prime reason to make the move to faster memory.