SK Hynix promises GDDR6 graphics cards by early 2018

April 24, 2017 // 11:05 a.m.

Tags: #gddr #gddr5 #gddr5x #gddr6 #gram #graphics-memory #graphics-ram #hbm #high-bandwidth-memory #jedec #jonghoon-oh #sk-hynix #video-ram #vram

Memory maker SK Hynix has announced that it has finished building modules based around the Graphics Double Data Rate 6 (GDDR6) memory standard, which are due to arrive on shelves in early 2018.

Based around similar concepts to the Double Data Rate (DDR) memory standard, Graphics Double Data Rate (GDDR) is optimised for use as graphics card memory, in particular for extremely high bandwidth. The current standard, GDDR5 and the extended GDDR5X, is based on the same core as DDR3 on desktops; no publicly accessible version of the GDDR6 standard has been made available thus far, pending ratification by the JEDEC Solid State Technology Association formerly known as the Joint Electron Device Engineering Council, so it is presently unknown whether it will shift to a DDR4 base or remain on DDR3.

Even without formal ratification, SK Hynix is willing to share some stats. According to the company's announcement, GDDR6 will have a peak throughput double that of GDDR5 - not the faster GDDR5X, it must be noted - while running at a 10 percent lower voltage.

SK Hynix isn't the first to announce impending GDDR6 modules, with Micron having made a similar announcement earlier this year and Samsung back in 2016 during the Hot Chips conference, but it's claiming to be the fastest: The company has claimed that its GDDR6 modules are capable of operating at a peak theoretical throughput of 16Gb/s per pin, which when equipped with 386-bit memory buses on future graphics cards will allow for 768GB/s of data throughput.

'With the introduction of this industry's fastest GDDR6, SK Hynix will actively respond to high quality, high performance graphics memory solutions market,' crowed senior vice president Jonghoon Oh, head of the company's DRAM Product Development division. 'The Company would help our clients enhance their performance of high-end graphics cards,' he added, confirming the company has partnered with a 'core graphics chipset client' to get GDDR6 in cards in early 2018.

When GDDR6 launches, however, it will be going up against the latest revision of High Bandwidth Memory (HBM), a three-dimensional stacked memory system which has proven capable as a high-bandwidth alternative to traditional GDDR in high-end devices.
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