Samsung Breaks Speed Record for Graphics Memory Chips

June 21, 2005

Samsung Electronics Co., Ltd., the leader in advanced semiconductor technology, today announced that it has developed the industry's fastest 2.0 gigabit per second (Gbps) 90 nanometer 512Mb graphics double data rate 3 (GDDR3) dynamic random access memory (DRAM).

GDDR-3 is a graphics card-specific memory technology, designed by ATI Technologies. It has much the same technological base as DDR-II, but the power and heat dispersal requirements have been reduced somewhat, allowing for higher-speed memory modules, and simplified cooling systems. Unlike the DDR-II used on graphics cards, GDDR-3 is unrelated to the upcoming JEDEC DDR-III specification. This memory also uses internal terminators, enabling it to better handle the demands of graphics today. Despite being designed by ATI, the first card to use the technology was nVidia's GeForce FX 5700 Ultra, where it replaced the DDR-II modules that were being previously used on it. The next card to use it was nVidia's GeForce 6800 Ultra, where it was key in maintaining reasonable power requirements compared to its predecessor, the 5950 Ultra. ATI began using the memory on their Radeon X800 cards (currently 256mb GDDR-3). GDDR-3 is Sony's choice for the Playstation 3 console's graphics processor, although the main system memory will comprise of XDR_DRAM. Microsoft's Xbox 360 Will also be packaged with 512 MB of GDDR3 Memory, and is one of the pioneers of using this memory as standard system memory rather than purely video memory.*

Samsung's new 2.0Gbps high-speed graphics solution runs at up to 8.0GigaBytes per second (GBps), which is 70 percent faster than the conventional 1.2Gbps device, making it ideal for high-quality images and fast animation in PCs, workstations and high-end game consoles.

Samsung also initiated mass production of its 1.6Gbps 512Mb GDDR3, which was developed in December 2004. Generating 6.4GBps transmission rates, the 1.6Gbps GDDR3 is available in graphic cards with a maximum density of 1GB by combining sixteen monolithic 512Mb GDDR3s together. The new GDDR3 incorporates a JEDEC standard 136-ball package.

512Mb GDDR3 is expected to support the faster data transmission rate for higher resolution images in next generation game consoles.

Samsung's technology diversification strategy is reflected in its comprehensive graphics memory line up. Since introducing the industry's first 1.0Gbps 128Mbit GDDR1/GDDR2 in 2002, Samsung has now become the first to secure a full line up of GDDR memory technology.

Market research firm, Mercury Research, predicts that the global graphics DRAM market will increase 43 percent to $1.5 billion (US) in 2005 and exceed $2 billion (US) in 2006.

Samsung's 1.6Gbps 90nm 512Mb GDDR3 DRAMs are available now in volume production worldwide.

* Definition by Wikipedia

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