November 13, 2017 // 10:20 a.m.
Samsung has revealed firm figures for its production Graphics Double Data Rate 6 (GDDR6) video memory, claiming to have achieved double GDDR5's 8Gb/s throughput at a lower power draw - and putting the pressure on rival VRAM standard High Bandwidth Memory 2 (HBM2).
Designed to replace the GDDR family of VRAM, High Bandwidth Memory offers a range of enhancements: By locating stacked memory dies on an interposer board alongside the CPU or GPU the overall footprint is reduced and the performance-per-watt improved. Production of HBM, however, is more complex and expensive than that of traditional off-package VRAM - which is why it's entirely unsurprising to find Samsung working on both GDDR6 and HBM2/3 products.
Announced as part of a self-congratulatory puff-piece on the company's success at the Consumer Electronics Show 2018 Innovation Awards, Samsung's specifications for its production GDDR6 memory modules promise much. Described as 'the fastest and lowest-power DRAM for next generation, graphics-intensive applications', Samsung claims its production parts offer 16Gb/s throughput with 64GB/s data input/output (IO) bandwidth - equivalent to 12 full-HD DVDs per second, Samsung boasts in a slightly outdated example - at 1.35V, down from 1.5V and up from 8Gb/s in GDDR5 implementations.
These parts are, the company further claimed, to be available in densities of up to 16Gb (2GB) per chip, meaning that 8GB graphics cards would require just four chips and 16GB cards just eight chips. Pricing, however, was not disclosed, and neither did Samsung offer a timescale for when the first GDDR6 products are likely to hit shop shelves. Rival SK Hynix, meanwhile, promised a 2018 launch when it announced its own GDDR6 parts back in April.