In brief: Samsung is improving its GDDR6 portfolio with a new module capable of data transfer rates of 24Gbps per pin. This is mostly aimed at high-end graphics cards and AI accelerators, but the company will also be making low-power variants for other applications.
Samsung today announced the industry’s first 24Gbps GDDR6 RAM which will power the next generation of graphics cards from Nvidia and AMD, as well as laptops, game consoles, and AI accelerators for the data center.
The Korean tech giant says it has already begun sampling the new memory chips with a capacity of 16Gb and says its customers will begin verification tests sometime later this month. Furthermore, commercial availability will be aligned with upcoming GPU launches, so it won’t be long before we’ll see 24Gbps GDDR6 in shipping products.
One of the obvious benefits of this new GDDR6 module is that it can deliver 30 percent faster speeds when compared to Samsung’s previous 18Gbps module. In other words, a fully decked out premium graphics card will be able to achieve a memory bandwidth of up to 1.1 Tbps — the equivalent of transferring 275 1080p movies in one second.
Unlike GDDR6X, which was developed by Micron in collaboration with Nvidia, Samsung’s new GDDR6 DRAM is fully compliant with JEDEC specifications. It’s also expected to be less power hungry thanks to the use of high-k metal gate technology. That also means it will run cooler than GDDR6X while providing better performance and be cheaper to manufacture.
Speaking of manufacturing, Samsung is making the new GDDR6 lineup on a 10nm (1z) process node. And while the company mainly targets GPUs and AI accelerators with the new tech, it will also be making 20Gbps and 16Gbps variants for low-power applications. To that end, Samsung is also using dynamic voltage switching tech that can adjust between 1.1V and 1.35V to achieve 20 percent more power efficiency where needed.
It’s worth noting that Samsung believes the high-performance graphics market will see healthy double-digit growth in the coming years. The company wants a sizable piece of that increasingly large pie, so it’s been making every possible effort to beat TSMC in the race to develop leading chip manufacturing techniques.
Last month, it started manufacturing chips on a 3nm process at its Hwaseong facilities. Whether or not that will be enough to get companies like Nvidia interested remains to be seen, but Samsung remains the world leader in the DRAM space with a market share of almost 44 percent.