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A leading memory manufacturer Infineon Technologies AG announced on Wednesday its new GDDR3 memory devices aimed at the forthcoming breed of graphics cards, sketching its aggressive plans to occupy a share in the market of the most advanced memory devices.

Infineon’s new GDDR3 512Mb memory chips, which can be installed onto graphics cards that feature 512MB or even 1GB of memory, are capable of operating at effective 1600MHz, providing 51.2GB/s of bandwidth per graphics card with 256-bit memory access. The package of such devices is a JEDEC compliant 136-ball FBGA package with 11mm x 14mm x 1.2mm dimensions. Operating voltage of 800MHz GDDR3 chips is 1.8V.

Infineon said it had begun shipping samples of its high-speed GDDR3 chips in February, 2005 to industry leading customers. Volume production is scheduled for the second half of 2005, which may indicate that graphics cards featuring 512MB or even 1GB of memory by Infineon will be available only in Q3 or Q4 2005.

In early March, 2005, graphics cards maker Sparkle initiated sales of its GeForce 6600 GT graphics card with 1000MHz memory by Infineon. The move outlined the memory maker’s plans to enter the market that had been dominated by Samsung Electronics for about a year.

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 or graphics sub-systems in a notebook and allows GPU developers to reach the new performance and feature heights with their products.

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