Samsung Mass Producing GDDR5 Memory

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News Posted: Thu, Feb 12 2009 5:00 PM
We're beginning to wonder who isn't innovating on the flash memory front this month. First was SanDisk, then Micron, and now Samsung. If not for Spansion Japan filing for bankruptcy, it too would likely have something to share. Announced today, Samsung has begun mass producing GDDR5 graphics memory using 50-nanometer class process technology. Mueez Deen, director, mobile and graphics memory, Samsung Semiconductor, had this to say: "Our early 2009 introduction of GDDR5 chips will help us to meet the growing demand for higher performance graphics memory in PCs, graphic cards and game consoles. Because GDDR5 is the fastest and highest performing memory in the world, we are able to improve the gaming experience with it across all platforms."

So, what's it mean for you? Well, given that the newfangled memory was designed to support a maximum data transfer speed of 7Gbps and boast a maximum 28GBps of bandwidth, it'll be able to render more realistic images. That latter figure is a remarkable two times faster than the previous fastest graphics memory bandwidth of 12.8GBps for GDDR4, and in layman's terms, that's fast enough to transfer nineteen 1.5GB DVD resolution movies in a single second. Of course, the new GDDR5 protocol easily supports the latest high-res data formats, so Blu-ray and 1080p HD lovers should be grinning from ear-to-ear.

One of the primary differentiators is GDDR5's free-running clock, which does not require the data read/write function to be synchronized to the operations of the clock. GDDR4 contrarily processes data and images using the now-aged strobe-and-clock technique. By tapping into 50 nanometer technology, Sammy is expecting production efficiency to skyrocket a whopping 100 percent over 60 nanometer class technology. As if that wasn't enough, the company's GDDR5 operates at 1.35 volts, which represents a 20 percent reduction in power consumption compared to the 1.8 volts at which GDDR4 devices operate.

The chips are now available in both 32Megabit x32 and 64Mb x16 configurations, and Samsung is anticipating that GDDR5 will account for over a fifth of the total graphic memory market in 2009. Oh, and if you couldn't guess, Samsung will also be expanding its 50 nanometer process tech throughout its graphics memory lineup in the near future.
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Hopefully mass producing = lower prices :)

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