Samsung has recently unveiled their breakthrough in developing the inaugural GDDR7 DRAM memory for future-generation GPUs, making a significant advancement in the industry.
Nearly eight months after the initial announcement by the semiconductor manufacturer, they have successfully achieved the development of GDDR7 DRAM. Samsung, the pioneering company, stated earlier that GDDR7 would employ PAM3 Signaling and deliver impressive speeds of up to 36 Gbps. On the other hand, Micron has also revealed their plans for GDDR7 DRAM, although the specific development progress remains undisclosed. However, Micron did mention that the new memory standard is scheduled to launch in the first half of 2024. Furthermore, Cadence, another notable company in the field, has already commenced shipping the first GDDR7 verification tools to their customers.
The upcoming Samsung GDDR7 memory is poised to become the next-generation DRAM solution for GPUs, catering to a wide range of industries such as AI, HPC, Gaming, and Automotive. This new standard is expected to be integrated into next-gen systems of key customers for verification purposes later this year. Its implementation is anticipated to bring about a significant boost in overall performance, marking a notable advancement in the field.
As per Samsung’s statements, the GDDR7 memory is projected to deliver a remarkable 40% increase in performance and a notable 20% enhancement in power efficiency compared to the existing fastest 24 Gbps GDDR6 DRAM. This advancement is achieved while offering up to 16 Gb die capacities. The initial product releases will feature transfer speeds of up to 32 Gbps, which signifies a 33% improvement over GDDR6 memory. Furthermore, these developments will enable an impressive bandwidth of up to 1.5 TB/s, accomplished through a 384-bit bus interface solution.
Currently, no specific product announcements have been made, but it is worth noting that both AMD and NVIDIA offer GPUs with a 384-bit configuration. While AMD is likely to be a key customer for Samsung’s DRAM, NVIDIA has historically leaned towards using Micron’s solutions, although future decisions remain uncertain. GPU manufacturers, along with their AIB partners, will have the option to choose from Micron, SK Hynix, and Samsung’s GDDR7 memory. Regarding performance, the utilization of PAM3 Signaling appears to be significant, as it allows for the transmission of 50% more data compared to NRZ within the same signaling cycle, offering promising advancements.
In addition to the notable performance gains, the GDDR7 memory will provide a 20% increase in efficiency, which is particularly advantageous considering the significant power consumption of high-end GPUs. The Samsung GDDR7 DRAM is reported to incorporate technology optimized specifically for high-speed workloads. Additionally, there will be a low-operating voltage option available, catering to power-conscious applications like laptops. To address thermal considerations, the new memory standard will utilize an epoxy molding compound (EMC) with high thermal conductivity, resulting in a reduction of thermal resistance by up to 70%.
While there are still advancements to be made with GDDR6 through variations like GDDR6X and GDDR6W, it appears that the majority of GPU manufacturers will be transitioning to the newer GDDR7 standard around late 2024 or 2025. NVIDIA is not expected to release its next-gen gaming lineup until 2025, making it likely that AMD’s RDNA 4, set to arrive next year, will be a prime candidate for utilizing such memory configurations. Alternatively, we may witness refreshes from both GPU manufacturers next year featuring faster GDDR6 VRAM, followed by a proper launch with GDDR7 memory in 2025.