Samsung starts making 8Gb GDDR5 memory chips

— 9:11 AM on January 15, 2015

Samsung is making it easier for graphics card makers load up on memory. The firm has kicked off mass production of GDDR5 RAM with a whopping 8Gb (1GB) per die. The chips are designed for high-end PC graphics and supercomputers, two product categories with increasingly close ties.

Source: Samsung

Unsurprisingly, the press release notes that only eight of the new chips are required to reach the memory capacity of current consoles. The Xbox One and PlayStation 4 both have 8GB of RAM, though only the PS4 relies on GDDR5. The Xbone is equipped with DDR3 memory.

"General use notebooks" are mentioned as another potential application. I'm not aware of any that use GDDR5 for system memory, but higher-density chips should at least help with discrete mobile GPUs. They could also be useful for integrated graphics paired with dedicated memory. Hmmm.

Samsung's new chips are built on its 20-nm fabrication process. They have a 32-bit interface and can hit speeds up to 8Gbps (1GB/s) per pin. With high-end GPUs like the GeForce GTX 970 and 980, which have 256-bit memory interfaces, it should be easy to produce cards with 8GB of RAM.

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