Micron’s HBM Alternative Arriving In 2016 With Twice The Performance Of GDDR5 Memory

Micron Technology, the memory maker headquartered in Boise, Idaho, is making waves today. First is the announcement that it's acquiring the remaining shares of Inotera for approximately $3.2 billion, and secondly Micron is talking about a next generation memory technology to rival the performance of High Bandwidth Memory (HBM).

Starting with the latter, Micron's Kristopher Kido confirmed the company's plans to release its new memory next year. It will likely be called GDDR5X and offer speeds of 10Gbps to 14Gbps, up to double that of existing 7Gbps 4Gb GDDR5 memory chips. More capacious 8Gb density chips won't push speeds quite as much, though will still end up at 8Gbps.

Micron Engineer

You'll find Micron's new memory on both AMD and NVIDIA graphics cards, which will be an easy transition from GDDR5 since the new memory won't introduce any design wrinkles into the equation, just faster speeds.

As for HBM, it will continue to have a presence, though it's still too early to go all-in with the memory standard. For one, there's a shortage of first generation HBM chips. And secondly, the use of interposers makes designing GPUs a little more complicated, hence why AMD limited the initial implementation of HBM to just 4GB.

Inotera Acquisition

After a seven-year partnership with Inotera, Micron is increasing its stake from 33 percent to 100 percent, the company announced today.

Micron Headquarters

"We believe this is a compelling combination for both companies' shareholders and employees," said Micron CEO Mark Durcan. "The acquisition is the culmination of a highly successful seven year partnership with Inotera. It enables Micron to realize the full financial and operational benefit of Inotera's operations and provides a strong future for Inotera and its employees, who will become an even more critical part of Micron's success."

This is a nice tie-in with Micron's GDDR5X memory plans. Inotera produces more than a third of Micron's total DRAM output, and with this acquisition, Micron plans to have its Inotera subsidiary fully deployed on its 20nm technology by the middle of 2016.