New graphics memory spec from ATI

— 1:01 PM on October 7, 2002

The Inquirer is reporting that ATI has come up with a new spec for graphics memory that will scale all the way up to 800MHz, is reportedly twice as fast as DDR-II, and will be available next year.

EE Times goes into a little more detail with its coverage, pointing out the differences between the new spec and DDR-II:

There are two distinct differences that set GDDR-3 apart from DDR-2. One is the use of a single-ended, unidirectional strobe that separates the reads and writes. DDR-2, by contrast, uses differential bi-directional strobes.

The second change made in GDDR-3 is the use of a "pseudo-open drain" interface technique that is based on voltage rather than current. This was done so that graphics chips can be compatible with DDR, DDR-2 and GDDR-3. Like DDR-2, GDDR-3 interface uses 1.8-Volt SSTL.

GDDR-3 is an open, royalty-free standard, and NVIDIA actually participated in its development. Since GDDR-3 is really only designed for graphics implementations, JEDEC ratification shouldn't matter, just as long as graphics manufacturers control which memory chips are paired up with their GPUs.
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