Production starts on GDDR4

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Production starts on GDDR4

World's fastest graphics memory should be in cards by end of the year.

The world’s fastest graphics memory has just begun mass production and should start appearing in cards before the end of the year.

Samsung has announced that production is underway for graphics double data rate (GDDR) 4, the successor to GDDR3. GDDR4 will process images 33 per cent faster than the quickest GDDR3 memory on the market. The green light for GDDR4 production was given by memory industry body JEDEC, which claimed that it was commercially ready. GDDR4 uses JEDEC-approved standards for signal noise reduction, including data bus inversion and multi-preamble specifications.

Samsung’s first GDDR4 product has a data bandwidth of 2.4Gbps, compared with 2Gbps for the fastest GDDR3 part, while power consumption has been drastically cut by 45 per cent. The 512MB GDDR4 memory module will be offered in a 32bit data bus configuration.

Mueez Deen, marketing director for graphics memory and mobile DRam at Samsung Semiconductors, said: “With GDDR4-based systems, we are entering a new frontier that offers life-like movements and richly textured imagery far higher than DVDs. Using 80-nanometer production technology, the memory has an ultra-high-speed data processing rate of 2.4Gbps.”

High-performance memory sales have risen in recent times because end-users want better games and multimedia performance from both PCs and laptops.

Dr Jon Peddie, president of the market research firm Jon Peddie Research, said: “Sales of high-performance memory have already risen by 15 per cent this year compared with 2005, and GDDR4 will give an even sharper boost in demand.”

His firm has predicted that the non-integrated graphics memory market will grow from US$2.3bn in 2005 to more than US$4bn by the end of 2008.

Both nVidia and ATI were quick to praise the arrival of GDDR4.

Tony Tamasi, vice-president of technical marketing at nVidia, said: “NVidia has worked with JEDEC to develop the GDDR4 standard and we are excited to see Samsung ramping this into production. The graphics industry has an insatiable demand for high bandwidth memories and GDDR4 is poised to become the next major evolutionary step for our graphics processing units.”
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