Micron Announces Sampling Of GDDR5X Memory For Faster Next Generation Graphics Cards

Eventually we're going to see next-generation graphics cards outfitted with GDDR5X memory. It's a process getting to that point, and slowly but surely, things are moving along. To wit, JEDEC ratified the GDDR5X specification back in January of this year, and not even a full month later Micron announced that its GDDR5X program was in "full swing" with sampling to soon follow. Well, that time has come.

We just got word straight from Micron that it has indeed started sampling GDDR5X memory to clients. That's a big deal because it's one of the last steps in the rather long process of introducing new technology into the consumer market. The next announcement you're likely to hear about GDDR5X memory is that it's making a debut on a graphics card.


Why does any of this matter? GDDR5X memory pushes data rates to 10-14Gb/s. That's up to double the memory bandwidth of today's GDDR5 devices, and the best part for manufacturers is that it's not a completely new design—the memory architecture is largely the same, which will make transitioning to GDDR5X an easy and cost-effective affair.

GDDR Speeds Hi Res

One thing to note is that GDDR5X isn't a replacement to High Bandwidth Memory (HBM). Only AMD is using HBM chips right now, though with the arrival of Pascal later this year, rumor has it NVIDIA will as well, at least on its high-end offerings. It's entry-level and perhaps even mid-range Pascal cards are likely to use GDDR5X memory.