SK Hynix Announces Blazing Fast 16Gbps GDDR6 DRAM For Next Gen Graphics Cards

The future of high-end graphics cards might still belong to high bandwidth memory (HBM) technologies such as HBM2 and HBM3, but do not count out good old fashioned graphics double data rate (GDDR) DRAM. SK Hynix has not—the memory chip maker today announced what it claims is the world's fastest 20-nanometer class 8-gigabit (Gb) GDDR6 DRAM for upcoming high-performance graphics cards.

GDDR6 is a next-generation graphics memory solution that Hynix expects to quickly supplant both GDDR5 and GDDR5X, at least among faster graphics card solutions. The 8Gb part announced today operates with an I/O data rate of 16 gigabits per second (Gbps) per pin, which is a DRAM industry record. According to Hynix, a graphics card with a 384-bit wide memory bus would achieve up to 768 gigabytes per second (GB/s) of memory bandwidth when paired with GDDR6 memory. To put that into perspective, Nvidia's top-shelf Titan Xp has a 384-bit bus and achieves up to 547.7GB/s using 12GB of GDDR5X memory.

SK Hynix GDDR6

"With the introduction of this industry’s fastest GDDR6, SK Hynix will actively respond to high quality, high performance graphics memory solutions market," said senior vice president Jonghoon Oh, the Head of DRAM Product Development Division. "The Company would help our clients enhance their performance of high-end graphics cards."

It looks as though SK Hynix is trying to cover all of its bases here. The memory chip maker was previously said to be readying HBM2 for next-generation graphics cards, such as those that might be introduced around AMD's Vega architecture. But with GDDR6 being as fast as it is, it will be interesting to see which direction both Nvidia and AMD go. The answer will likely come to down to cost.

As for GDDR6's future, SK Hynix has already begun mass producing parts for "core graphics chipset client." The memory chip maker also sees GDDR6 playing a critical role in fields such as artificial intelligence, virtual reality, self-driving cars, and 4K Ultra HD.