Qimonda, a leading manufacturer of advanced dynamic random access memory (DRAM), said that it could deliver next-generation GDDR5 memory for graphics cards and other applications that require high memory bandwidth in volume. At this point Qimonda can supply makers of graphics boards GDDR5 memory with up to 4.50GHz clock-speed.
“Qimonda was the first to announce samples of GDDR5 back in November 2007. We have proven the technology and we can deliver in volume production to the market today,” said Glen Haley, communications director of Qimonda in North America, in an interview with X-bit labs web-site.
Presently Qimonda has 512Mb (16Mx32) GDDR5 chips at 3.60GHz, 4.0GHz and 4.50GHz clock-speeds in PG-TFBGA-170 packages in production. It is interesting to note that current-generation GDDR3 chips from Qimonda use PG-TFBGA-136 packing, which means that GDDR5 has more pins and requires more complex print-circuit boards of graphics cards.
It is projected that GDDR5 will play a substantial role in the next round of war between the leading designers of graphics processing units (GPUs) because it can double bandwidth available for graphics chips. Unfortunately, the price of GDDR5 memory from Qimonda is unclear. But while Qimonda does not unveil the exact pricing, it is likely that GDDR5 will be more expensive than GDDR3 and GDDR4, at least initially.
“If you look at the best performing GDDR3 parts today, they are running at about 2Gbit/s. With our GDDR5 we are able to at least double this data rate. We believe that Qimonda offers the highest performing graphics memory. There is a price/performance curve, and we are well-positioned to accommodate market demand as adoption increases,” Mr. Haley said.
Existing GDDR3 memory chips may run at 2.0GHz – 2.2GHz, which provides up to 140.8GB/s memory bandwidth in case of 512-bit bus, though, such chips are pretty expensive, just like print-circuit boards with 512-bit memory bus. For ATI, graphics product group of Advanced Micro Devices, the use of high-speed GDDR4 is an option, but Nvidia’s GeForce 8 and 9 GPUs do not support GDDR4. Therefore, the company either needs expensive GDDR3 in conjunction with wide memory bus, or GDDR5 with its extreme clock-speed potential.
In addition to Qimonda, Hynix Semiconductor and Samsung Electronics also plan to make GDDR5 memory.