Samsung wins race to build 2.0Gbit/sec GDDR3 memory

Korean electronics giant Samsung Electronics has announced what it claims is the fastest commercial memory for graphics cards.

Samsung wins race to build 2.0Gbit/sec GDDR3 memory

The company, already the world’s biggest manufacturer of memory chips says that it has built a 512Mb 2.0Gbit per second GDDR3 (Graphics Double Data Rate 3) DRAM device.

Built on a 90 nanometre (nm) process, Samsung says that the 2.0Gbps high-speed graphics chip equates to 8.0GigaBytes per second (GBps) throughput. The company says that this makes it 70 per cent faster than the conventional 1.2Gbps chips used in today’s graphics cards.

512Mb GDDR3 is expected to support the faster data transmission rate for higher resolution images in next generation game consoles such as the forthcoming Sony PlayStation 3 and the Microsoft Xbox 360. The new generation of consoles will depend on high speed GDDR3 memory in order to render the hyper-realistic games on which the success of the machines depends.

In addition the chips are likely to end up on a new generation of graphics cards from the major PC suppliers such as Nvidia and ATI.

Samsung quotes data from Mercury Research that estimates that the global graphics DRAM market will increase 43 percent to $1.5bn in 2005 and upwards of $2bn in 2006.

No start day for commercial quantities of the 2.0Gbit part has been announced. However, Samsung says that it has begun mass production of its latest generation 1.6Gbps 512Mb GDDR3, which it announced in December of last year.

For those who can do the maths, the 1.6Gbit part can generate 6.4GBps transmission rates. The 1.6Gbps GDDR3 will be available in graphic cards that have a maximum density of 1GB by combining sixteen monolithic 512Mb GDDR3s together. The new GDDR3 incorporates a JEDEC standard 136-ball package.

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