Today's Hard|Forum Post
Today's Hard|Forum Post

Monday June 05, 2017

Micron says GDDR5X Updated and GDDR6 on the Way

Micron has told us that we should expect updates to GDDR5X in terms of throughput. When launched, GDDR5X 10Gbps was spec, and now we should expect stock bandwidth will be upped to 11Gbps and 12Gbps configurations.

When we launched G5X just over a year ago, we were proud to deliver the world’s fastest discrete memory for NVIDIA’s highest performance gaming and workstation-class graphics cards. To keep up with the insatiable demands on memory from high performance GPUs for gaming, visualization and artificial intelligence, we continue to push the envelope for graphics memory data rates and yields.

As you likely know NVIDIA has been the company truly bringing exposure to this G5X technology, while AMD has been firmly in the HBM corner. It has been rumored that HBM2 supply will hamper the launch quantities of AMD's new RX Vega GPU. It has also been surmised that this is the reason that Radeon Vega Frontier Edition has been pushed out in front of the enthusiast RX Vega card. Remember that AMD has continually promised that Vega would be launched for the gamer in Q2 of this year, that has now been pushed back to Q3. Now you could go back into this and look at the exact wording used and suggest that it was stated as such that AMD never promised an RX Vega launch in Q2, but it surely implied it.

What we know is that NVIDIA's product stack at the high end will have a much stronger supply channel than AMD's. NVIDIA's current-gen Titan Xp uses G5X at 11.4Gbps specification.

Looking forward, GDDR6 is slated to push out 16Gbps! And it will be doing this in early 2018!

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With regards to the status of Micron’s G6 program, which we first announced in February, I am pleased to report that our product development efforts are on-track and we expect to have functional silicon very soon. By leveraging our G5X based high speed signaling experience from roughly 2 years of design, mass production, test and application knowledge, I am confident we are well positioned to bring the industry’s most robust G6 to mass production by early 2018.

To that end, I am excited to announce that our Graphics design team in Munich has achieved 16Gbps data rates in our high speed test environment-another first for memory industry. The left picture shows the data eye opening at 16Gbps based on a critical PRBS pattern sequence, with great timing and voltage margin. The right image below shows stable data timing margin (horizontally) versus data rate (vertically), from our base sort speed of 10Gbps up to an unprecedented 16Gbps. This result is based on measurements on a meaningful sampling size of our mass production G5X silicon – not theoretical simulation data.

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So what does this all mean to the computer hardware enthusiast and gamer? It means that we will continue to see trickle down memory technology making better mid-range products soon, and certainly new products be less constrained by bandwidth limitations. At least for the companies that use the technology. Also worthy of mention is that it is being kicked around that not only are HBM2 quantities limited for RX Vega, but that it also will cost the company $160 for the two 4GB stacks needed on it new GPUs while GDDR5X comes in at less than 1 one third of the cost per GB.