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Samsung starts mass production of ‘industry’s first’ 16Gb GDDR6 memory

CHIP COBBLER SAMSUNG has, as promised, kicked off mass production of what it’s claiming to be the “industry’s first” 16-gigabit (Gb) Graphics Double Data Rate 6 (GDDR6) memory.

Aimed at providing gaming devices, graphics cards and automotive, network and artificial intelligence systems (that’s everything, then) with advanced graphics processing, the new graphics chip is built on Samsung’s 10nm class process tech.

The fresh GDDR6 memory also comes in a 16Gb density, which doubles that of the company’s previous 20nm 8Gb GDDR5 memory, Samsung said, performing at an 18Gbps pin speed with data transfers of 72GBps, a more than two-fold increase over the 8Gb GDDR5 chip which touted a 8Gbps pin speed.

“Beginning with this early production of the industry’s first 16Gb GDDR6, we will offer a comprehensive graphics DRAM line-up, with the highest performance and densities, in a very timely manner,” declared Samsung Electronics’ senior VP of Memory Product Planning and Application Engineering, Jinman Han.

“By introducing next-generation GDDR6 products, we will strengthen our presence in the gaming and graphics card markets and accommodate the growing need for advanced graphics memory in automotive and network systems.”

The new GDDR6 chip uses a low-power circuit design, meaning it can operate at 1.35V to lower energy consumption approximately 35 per cent over the widely used GDDR5 at 1.55V. And because of its 10nm-class design, the 16Gb GDDR6 is also said to bring a 30 per cent gain in manufacturing productivity over the 20nm 8Gb GDDR5 offering. 

Samsung said starting immediate production of the GDDR6 will play “a critical role” in early launches of next-generation graphics cards and systems.

“With all of its improvements in density, performance and energy efficiency, the 16Gb GDDR6 will be widely used in rapidly growing fields such as 8K Ultra HD video processing, virtual reality, augmented reality and artificial intelligence,” the firm added.

The tech giant didn’t reveal any clear dates of when we are likely to see the cards in action, but it did say it expects to accelerate growth of the premium memory market “over the next several years. µ

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