Graphics Cards Makers Embrace GDDR3 Memory

New NVIDIA GeForce FX 5700 Ultra Graphics Cards to Come

by Anton Shilov
03/04/2004 | 08:34 AM

NVIDIA Corporation on Thursday said its add-in-card manufacturing partners would shortly utilize innovative GDDR3 memory on the new breed of graphics cards based on the GeForce FX 5700 Ultra GPUs.


GDDR3 graphics memory enables higher memory clock frequencies at a lower power level with fewer components and less constraints on system designers. These technology advances enable NVIDIA partners to bring higher performance solutions to consumers at better prices, according to Santa Clara, California-based company.

The GDDR3 memory is an evolution of GDDR2 memory that is primarily targeted for clock-speed increase.  Although GDDR3 evolves from GDDR2, it will have some pretty important differences. Firstly, GDDR3 makes use of a single-ended, unidirectional strobe that separates the reads and writes. GDDR2, by contrast, uses differential bi-directional strobes. Secondly, GDDR3 utilizes 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, GDDR2 and GDDR3. Like GDDR2, GDDR3 interface uses 1.8-Volt SSTL. Such memory is generally better suited for point-to-point links used on graphics cards and allows the GPU developers to reach the new performance and feature heights with their products.

According to sources, the new GeForce FX 5700 Ultra graphics cards with GDDR3 memory chips will boast 950MHz memory speed, a 5.5% increase over the previous generation of the GeForce FX 5700 Ultra products. GPU clocking will remain on the same level as on the first family of the GeForce FX 5700 Ultra graphics cards – 475MHz, people with knowledge of the matter told X-bit labs.

The reason behind the move towards GDDR3 from the GDDR2 memory is believed to be the planned end-of-life of GDDR2 memory.

The new breed of the NVIDIA GeForce FX 5700 Ultra GPU-based graphics cards with 128MB of GDDR3 will be available in mid-March from Albatron, ASUS, BFG Technologies,, Gainward, Gigabyte Technology, Leadtek Research, MSI, Palit Microsystems, Point of View, PNY Technologies, Sparkle Computer and XFX.