Micron has officially started the mass production of their GDDR6 memory which will be coming to high-performance graphics cards and other market segments soon. The GDDR6 memory solution offers higher performance at lower cost and much less complexity compared to traditional DDR4 and GDDR5 memory, making it easier for manufacturing and compatible with new products.
Micron Officially Commences GDDR6 Mass Production - Up To 14 Gb/s To Initially Hit The Market
While GDDR6 follows an evolutionary path over GDDR5 and GDDR5X memory, there are still some significant changes in the underlying architecture to boost memory bandwidth while saving power. This makes the VRAM a viable option for next-generation consumer graphics products such as the upcoming high-performance graphics cards from NVIDIA and AMD. There are also other markets which Micron aims to address with their GDDR6 solution, that includes:
- Artificial Intelligence — Artificial intelligence, machine learning, deep learning are memory intensive applications that require more bandwidth from memory solutions. GDDR6 delivers the higher bandwidth required to accelerate AI in applications like computer vision, autonomous driving and the many other applications that require this higher bandwidth.
- Graphics — Enabling significant performance improvements for today's top GPUs, GDDR6 delivers enhanced graphics memory speeds to enable higher application bandwidth. Micron GDDR6 will be a core enabling technology of advanced GPU applications, including acceleration, 4K video and improved rendering, VR/AR and crypto mining applications.
- Networking — Advanced networking technologies require access to high speed/high bandwidth memory. GDDR6-powered smart Network Interface Cards (NIC) enable significant improvements in network bandwidth. Additionally, high bandwidth RAID controllers featuring GDDR6 memory deliver dramatic enhancements to data access and protection.
- Automotive — As auto manufacturers push for autonomous vehicles, high-performance memory is required to process the vast amounts of real-time data required to make this technology a reality. Micron GDDR6 delivers 448 GB/s auto qualified memory solutions, that deliver more than double the bandwidth of LPDDR5 automotive memory solutions.
Micron GDDR6 Memory Specifications – 16Gb Dies With Up To 16 Gbps Transfer Rates
So coming to the specifications, GDDR6 will come in 8Gb and 16Gb densities while the standard followed by JEDEC allows for up to 32Gb dies. The 8Gb DRAM dies will allow for up to 8 GB VRAM on a 256-bit wide card and 12 GB VRAM along a 384-bit wide card. The 16Gb dies will essentially double the VRAM since each chip will feature 2 GB VRAM. A 384-bit bus card could feature up to 24 GB while dies with 32Gb density will deliver 48 GB VRAM along the same interface. Now, these dies are expected in 2019 and beyond so currently, graphics card makers will stick with 8Gb dies.
Micron has stated that the new memory standard will continue down the path of the successful G5X memory. While the new memory technology would be very similar to GDDR5X, there are a few differences of which the major ones include:
- The introduction of an FBGA180 ball package with increased pitch
- A dual channel architecture
The 10-12 Gbps dies will replace GDDR5X solutions which offer the same speeds at a lower power input of 1.25V compared to 1.35V. The other variants can go as high as 14.0 Gbps at 1.35V which will push bandwidth even further. Micron has also internally tested dies with speeds of up to 20 GB/s which is insane and they are aiming to hit 64 GB/s bandwidth on a single die package which would be possible with 16 GB/s SKUs.
"Micron is a pioneer in developing advanced high bandwidth memory solutions and continues that leadership with GDDR6. Micron demonstrated this leadership by recently achieving throughput up to 20 GB/s on our GDDR6 solutions," said Andreas Schlapka, director, Compute Networking Business Unit, Micron. "In addition to performance increases, Micron has developed a deep partner ecosystem to enable rapid creation of GDDR6 designs, enabling faster time to market for customers looking to leverage this powerful new memory technology."
"As demand for advanced automotive applications such as ADAS and other autonomous driving solutions grows, the need for high bandwidth memory in automotive will grow as well. Advanced high bandwidth GDDR6 memory solutions are a key enabling technology for autonomous vehicles and will be an important tool for the automotive industry as they develop next-generation transportation initiatives," said Kris Baxter, vice president, Marketing, Micron's Embedded Business Unit.
Targeting up to 64GB/s in one package, GDDR6 brings a significant improvement over the fastest available GDDR5. This unprecedented level of single-chip performance, using proven, industry-standard BGA packaging provides designers a powerful, cost-efficient and low-risk solution using the most scalable, high-speed discrete memory available to the market.
GPU Memory Technology Updates
|Graphics Card Name||Memory Technology||Memory Speed||Memory Bus||Memory Bandwidth||Release|
|AMD Radeon R9 Fury X||HBM1||1.0 Gbps||4096-bit||512 GB/s||2015|
|NVIDIA GTX 1080||GDDR5X||10.0 Gbps||256-bit||320 GB/s||2016|
|NVIDIA Tesla P100||HBM2||1.4 Gbps||4096-bit||720 GB/s||2016|
|NVIDIA Titan Xp||GDDR5X||11.4 Gbps||384-bit||547 GB/s||2017|
|AMD RX Vega 64||HBM2||1.9 Gbps||2048-bit||483 GB/s||2017|
|NVIDIA Titan V||HBM2||1.7 Gbps||3072-bit||652 GB/s||2017|
|NVIDIA Tesla V100||HBM2||1.7 Gbps||4096-bit||901 GB/s||2017|
|NVIDIA RTX 2080 Ti||GDDR6||14.0 Gbps||384-bit||672 GB/s||2018|
|AMD Instinct MI100||HBM2||2.4 Gbps||4096-bit||1229 GB/s||2020|
|NVIDIA A100 80 GB||HBM2e||3.2 Gbps||5120-bit||2039 GB/s||2020|
|NVIDIA RTX 3090||GDDR6X||19.5 Gbps||384-bit||936.2 GB/s||2020|
|AMD Instinct MI200||HBM2e||3.2 Gbps||8192-bit||3200 GB/s||2021|
|NVIDIA RTX 3090 Ti||GDDR6X||21.0 Gbps||384-bit||1008 GB/s||2022|
Micron GDDR6 Memory Catalog:
Coming to bandwidth, a 12 Gbps solution will be able to output 384 GB/s bandwidth on a 256-bit and 576 GB/s bandwidth on a 384-bit solution. A 14 Gbps solution can offer up to 448 GB/s VRAM bandwidth along a 256-bit bus and 672 GB/s bandwidth along a 384-bit bus. Based on the 8Gb die and 14 Gb/s configuration, Micron is expecting three variants to ship inside graphics cards which include:
- NVIDIA GTX 1080 Ti Successor With 384-bit Bus - 672 GB/s (12 GB VRAM)
- NVIDIA GTX 1080 Successor With 256-bit Bus - 448 GB/s (8 GB VRAM)
- NVIDIA GTX 1060 Successor With 192-bit Bus - 336 GB/s (6 GB VRAM)
It will be interesting to see GDDR6 based solutions when NVIDIA finally unveil their next-generation graphics architecture for the GeForce market. In addition to Micron, Samsung, and SK Hynix are also manufacturing the GDDR6 memory solutions based on their own technologies which will be available soon.