Samsung has announced (opens in new tab) the industry’s first 24Gbps GDDR6 memory. It’s production ready and able to be used with next generation high end graphics cards as well as game consoles and enterprise products. Samsung says its 24Gbps memory delivers a 30% speed improvement over its 18Gbps GDDR6.
24Gbps memory combined with a 384-bit bus would deliver well over 1TB of bandwidth per second. Samsung used a quaint example of being able transfer 275 1080p movies in one second.
Daniel Lee, executive vice president of the memory product planning team at Samsung Electronics said: “With our industry-first 24Gbps GDDR6 now sampling, we look forward to validating the graphics DRAM on next-generation GPU platforms to bring it to market in time to meet an onslaught of new demand.”
GDDR6 is highly scalable, and can be used in the fastest high-end cards, all the way down to power efficient laptops, unlike the (as of now) exclusively high end GDDR6X.
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The new memory is faster than the 21Gbps GDDR6X memory of the RTX 3090 Ti (opens in new tab), meaning Nvidia could choose to use the more efficient and JEDEC approved GDDR6 memory over GDDR6X, which Nvidia developed in collaboration with Micron. This could lead to simplified designs and cooler operating temperatures, which can be a problem with GDDR6X.
The fact that Samsung is announcing this now means that AMD or Nvidia or both will be using 24Gbps memory with their next generation cards. Though as with anything shiny and new and fast, it will be expensive and almost certainly restricted to the flagship parts. Mid-range cards will stick with 16 to 18Gbps class memory, while cards immediately below the flagships may include 21Gbps memory.
Faster memory alleviates the need to include very wide memory buses. We saw cards with 512-bit buses and relatively slow GDDR3 well over a decade ago, but if GDDR6 (and future GDDR7 (opens in new tab)) continues to scale upwards in speed, then the days of wide memory buses on consumer GPUs are surely behind us.
What memory will RTX 4090 (opens in new tab) or 7900XT (opens in new tab) class cards include? Will Nvidia use GDDR6 or GDDR6X? Is Micron planning something even faster? All will be revealed in the months to come as Nvidia and AMD gear up to announce their next-generation graphics cards later this year.