It would seem that the graphics memory market is heating up, with Samsung making sure that it is at the forefront of both the GDDR6 and HBM2 revolution. The company already - albeit briefly - mentioned the impending release of its GDDR6 chips in a pre-CES 2018 statement. However, in its latest announcement, it added another interesting surprise.
Samsung has jumped ahead of its competition in more ways than one, with it officially announcing that its GDDR6 memory chips have gone into large-scale production. This should come as a shock to its competition, both SK Hynix and Micron, who aimed to start production later this year. Not only did the Korean electronics giant gain first-mover advantage, the company also revised the speed of these chips.
According to Samsung, the GDDR6 memory produced by it will be fabricated on a 10nm process, and run at 1.35V. These chips will have a blistering fast 18Gbps pin speed (up from an initial 16Gbps) and will reach transfer rates of 72Gbps (up from an initial 64Gbps), at a density of 16Gb. In comparison, SK Hynix announced that its GDDR6 chip will reach around eight to 16Gbps. Micron does not fare too well either, with its memory modules coming in at around 12Gbps, or about the same speed as its current GDDR5X memory. Although, it did note that these chips will eventually reach 16Gbps.
Jinman Han, senior vice president of Memory Product Planning & Application Engineering at Samsung commented on the announcement:
“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. 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."
Earlier, the company announced that it has started production on its second-generation High Bandwidth Memory-2 (HBM2) product dubbed Aquabolt. These chips, which are targeted at supercomputers and high-end graphics cards, will reportedly reach speeds of 2.4Gbps per pin. The Samsung HBM2 memory chip is 9.6 times faster than current generation GDDR5 memory, coming in at 307Gbps bandwidth per single package.