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Infineon Technologies AG, one of the world’s largest producers of dynamic random access memory, recently established supplies of GDDR3 SDRAM used on high-end and performance-mainstream graphics cards. The move may pose competition to Samsung Electronics, who has been the primary supplier of GDDR3 memory for the two leading graphics chips designers – ATI Technologies Inc. and NVIDIA Corp. – as well as their partners for the last one and a half years.

Galaxy Technology, a graphics cards maker, recently started to sell its NVIDIA GeForce 6600 GT-based graphics cards equipped with 2.0ns memory from Infineon Technologies AG. The boards does not feature any differences compared to those produced based on the GeForce 6600 GT graphics processors by the company except of memory chips that come from Infineon.


Galaxy GeForce 6600 GT. Picture by Akiba PC Hotline

GDDR3 evolves from DDR2, but still has some pretty important differences. Firstly, GDDR3 makes use of a single-ended, unidirectional strobe that separates the reads and writes. DDR2, by contrast, uses differential bi-directional strobes. Secondly, GDDR3 utilises 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, DDR2 and GDDR3. Like DDR2, GDDR3 interface uses 1.8-Volt SSTL. Such memory is better suited to point-to-point links used on graphics cards and allows GPU developers to reach the new performance and feature heights with their products.


Galaxy GeForce 6600 GT. Picture by Akiba PC Hotline

Virtually all performance-mainstream and high-end graphics cards feature GDDR3 memory nowadays. Practically all supplies of such memory have come from Samsung Electronics. With more GDDR3 memory devices from different makers hitting the market, products featuring the chips may become more cost-efficient, as Samsung may have to lower its pricing.

Samsung Electronics, the world’s largest maker of dynamic random access memory, said that in 2004 it supplied 15 million of high-speed DRAMs for graphics cards. Being the only mass supplier of commercial GDDR3 products, Samsung has shipped virtually 100% of all GDDR3 chips shipped.

Infineon did not comment on the news-story.

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