July 19th, 2023, marked a significant milestone in the world of technology as Samsung Electronics announced the successful development of the industry’s first GDDR7 DRAM. This next-generation graphics memory promises to revolutionize computing, gaming, and automotive industries, setting new standards for speed, efficiency, and performance. Let’s learn more about what it is.
A Quantum Leap in Graphics Performance
Yongcheol Bae, the executive vice president of the Memory Product Planning Team at Samsung Electronics, emphasized that the GDDR7 DRAM would elevate user experiences in various fields, particularly those that demand outstanding graphics performance. These areas include workstations, PCs, game consoles, and even future applications like AI, high-performance computing (HPC), and automotive vehicles.
At the core of Samsung’s GDDR7 breakthrough lies its adoption of Pulse Amplitude Modulation-3 (PAM3) technology, which enables higher bandwidth compared to its predecessor, GDDR6’s PAM2. The result is a jaw-dropping 1.5TBps of bandwidth, a remarkable ~36% increase compared to the 1.1TBps offered by GDDR6 chips announced just a year ago. Those are some great numbers considering how GPUs can always use more memory bandwidth.
Moreover, Samsung’s GDDR7 memory boasts a boosted speed per pin of up to 32Gbps, a 33% improvement over the top GDDR6 products. This leap in speed opens the door to a more substantial bandwidth jump for graphics cards in the coming years, promising unparalleled performance in upcoming GPUs.
Cooler, Faster, Better
Acknowledging the increasing importance of energy efficiency, Samsung decided to develop a “power-saving design technology optimized for high-speed operations.”, up to 20% more efficient than its predecessor. In a bid to cater to hardware with power limitations, such as laptops, Samsung is offering a low-operating-voltage GDDR7 option, ensuring an optimal user experience without compromising power consumption.
Heat generation has been a long-standing challenge in memory technology, especially concerning high-performance modules. To combat this issue, they have employed a new epoxy molding compound designed to minimize heat generation and prevent components from overheating. This ingenious solution offers a 70% reduction in package thermal resistance compared to GDDR6 memory chips, resulting in more stability, efficiency and performance, even during resource-intensive tasks.
While Samsung takes pride in being the first to announce the completion of its GDDR7 development, the competition in the industry is heating up. Cadence, a system design company, has already introduced the first verification solution for GDDR7, paving the way for other manufacturers to follow suit. Notably, Micron has revealed its plan to debut its own GDDR7 memory in the first half of 2024, hinting at a potential race to claim the title of the first memory manufacturer with a market-ready product.
The Future of Computing and Gaming
Samsung’s GDDR7 DRAM presents an exciting glimpse into the future of technology, one where computing, AI, gaming, and even automotive experiences are elevated to unprecedented heights. With its industry-leading speed, energy efficiency, and heat management, GDDR7 will undoubtedly become the go-to choice for cutting-edge hardware systems.
As much as all those claims aren’t a guarantee, considering samsumg’s past problems with performance and efficiency on their phone CPU lineup and even batteries, its always interesting to see where the company will go with this new tech.