Samsung reveals plans for 36Gbps GDDR7 DRAM
Samsung's GDDR7 is more than 2x faster than commonly used 16Gbps GDDR6 modules
Published: 6th October 2022 | Source: Samsung |
Samsung's GDDR7 memory will be transformative for GPUs
Samsung has confirmed that they are working on GDDR7 memory, revealing that they have "upcoming DRAM solutions" that included 36Gbps GDDR7 memory modules. Why does this matter, because it is more than 2x faster than the GDDR6 memory modules that are most commonly used in today's graphics cards.
The most commonly used GDDR6 memory within today's graphics cards offer users 16Gbps speeds, with some higher-end models offering users faster 18Gbps speeds. With Samsung's 36Gbps GDDR7 modules, Samsung can offer users 2.25x and 2x increases in bandwidth respectively, enabling manufacturers to deliver more bandwidth on their future products.
For graphics cards like AMD's RX 6900 XT, 16GB of 16Gbps GDDR6 memory is used over a 256-bit memory bus to deliver 512 GB/s of memory bandwidth. With Samsung's 36 Gbps GDDR7 memory over the same 256-bit memory bus, AMD could create a graphics card that offers users 1,152 GB/s of memory bandwidth. That is over 1TB/s of memory bandwidth!
In addition to their GDDR7 DRAM, Samsung are also working on higher capacity DDR5 memory modules, faster LPDDR5X memory modules, and specialised DRAM solutions that are tailored for specific markets. These specialised modules include HBM-PIM memory.
Samsung’s 1b DRAM is currently under development with plans for mass production in 2023. To overcome challenges in DRAM scaling beyond the 10nm range, the company has been developing disruptive solutions in patterning, materials and architecture, with technology like High-K material well underway.
The company then highlighted upcoming DRAM solutions such as 32Gb DDR5 DRAM, 8.5Gbps LPDDR5X DRAM and 36Gbps GDDR7 DRAM that will bring new capabilities to data center, HPC, mobile, gaming and automotive market segments.
Expanding beyond conventional DRAM, Samsung also underscored the importance of tailored DRAM solutions such as HBM-PIM, AXDIMM and CXL that can fuel system-level innovation in better handling the explosive growth of data worldwide.
Why faster memory matters
DRAM is a vital component of every modern PC. Today's processors, graphics cards, and accelerators require fast memory to feed them data. Regardless of how fast your processor is, your system can easily become bottlenecked by the speed of your system's memory. This is why the PC industry is moving from DDR4 memory to DDR5, and why Samsung is creating GDDR7 DRAM.
Faster DRAM allows data to move between processors and memory at a faster rate. This can allow work to be completed faster, especially when a lot of data needs to be accessed quickly. Within the GPU market, processing power has increased at a faster rate than DRAM performance, forcing manufacturers to rely on larger internal caches and other clever techniques to lower memory bandwidth requirements. With the introduction of GDDR7 memory, GPU manufacturers will be able to focus less on the memory bottlenecks and more on raw GPU throughput.
With GDDR7, a 2x speed boost over GDDR6 should be possible, allowing graphics cards to offer much more bandwidth, or deliver ample bandwidth using fewer memory modules. Either way, GDDR7 memory will be great for the PC market.