Qimonda GDDR5 Memory

Without any doubt, GDDR5 memory is prevalent high-speed memory of today. The standard attracted a lot of companies and powers systems from graphics cards to networking switches, from cars to rockets and even lunar landers. Thus, the big question remains, when the successor is going to arrive?

You might not know this, but AMD i.e. Advanced Micro Devices is actually the company behind the creation of GDDR memory standard. The company did a lot of great work with GDDR3 and now with GDDR5, while GDDR4 was simply too short on the market to drive the demand for the solution. In the words of our sources, "GDDR3 was too good for GDDR4 to compete with, while everyone knew what was coming with GDDR5."

GDDR5 as a memory standard was designed as Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde. The Single-Ended GDDR5 i.e. Dr. Jekyll was created to power the contemporary processors, while the Differential GDDR5 i.e. Mr. Hyde was designed to "murder Rambus and XDR". Ultimately, the conventional S.E. GDDR5 took off better than expected and clocked higher than anyone hoped for. While the estimates for the top standard were set at 1.5GHz QDR, i.e. 6 "effective GHz" with overclocking, we got both AMD and NVIDIA actually shipping retail parts at 1.5GHz, with overclocks as high as 1.85GHz (7.4 "GHz"). This brought us to more than 250GB/s achiveable bandwidth, meaning that the purpose of Differential GDDR5 was lost.

Enter GDDR6. This is the memory standard that will take us to the 2020 and beyond, i.e. third decade of the 21st century. GDDR6 is being built with a lot of changes and accent on the driving silicon, that we expect this part to last, if not outlast the GDDR3 memory, which launched in 2004 and still makes for vast majority of GDDR memory shipments.

The hard work at AMD is still going strong, with the effort now is starting to be on certifying the standard through AMD-chaired organizations at JEDEC. There is a big number of interested parties, such as NVIDIA, Intel, Qualcomm, Texas Instruments, CISCO and others. However, this is the field where AMD is the company in charge, and regardless for whom are you rooting for, without AMD's memory team – our present (and the future) would look significantly different.