Samsung develops first GDDR7 chips, mentions bandwidths of up to 32Gbit/s per pin

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Samsung announces its first generation of GDDR7 memory. According to Samsung, these first memory modules achieve bandwidths of up to 32Gbit/s per pin, 33 percent more than the fastest GDDR6 chips on the market. The chips will be released in 2024.

Samsung announced on Wednesday that development of its first generation of GDDR7 modules has been completed. Samsung’s modules each have a capacity of 16 gigabit, which amounts to 2GB. Samsung shares the bandwidth of 32Gbit/s per pin, while the fastest GDDR6 chips offer bandwidths of 24Gbit/s. On a 256bit memory bus, GDDR7 could achieve a bandwidth of 1024GB/s. On a GPU with a 384bit bus, the theoretical bandwidth of GDDR7 increases to over 1536GB/s.

Source: Samsung

According to Samsung, the speed gain of GDDR7 compared to GDDR6 is partly due to the use of PAM 3 signaling. That’s unlike using pam 2 encryption in GDDR6 or pam 4 in GDDR6X. With pam3, three voltage levels are used for the transmission of the signal. This makes it possible to send more bits per clock cycle without having to increase the clock speed.

The manufacturer also says that the GDDR7 memory is ‘up to 20 percent more efficient’ than previous generations, but does not elaborate further. Samsung does say that it will release a GDDR7 version with an extra low voltage. That version is mainly intended for devices such as laptops. Samsung will also use epoxy for the packaging material of GDDR7. This epoxy material has a relatively high thermal conductivity and should therefore provide a thermal resistance that is ’70 percent lower’ compared to GDDR6. That should make it easier to cool the chips.

Work on GDDR7 memory has been underway for some time. Micron previously said it plans to launch its first GDDR7 chips in the first half of 2024. Cadence, a company that makes software and hardware for chip design, previously announced verification solutions for GDDR7 memory.

According to previous rumors, Nvidia’s GeForce RTX 50 series and AMD’s Radeon RX 8000 GPUs, among others, use GDDR7 memory. However, that has not yet been confirmed. Moreover, no release date has yet been announced for either series, although an Nvidia roadmap mentioned earlier that the successor to Nvidia’s current Lovelace GPU architecture will be released in 2025.

Memory chip Samsung GDDR7 Micron GDDR6X Samsung GDDR6
Bandwidth per pin 32Gbit/s 24Gbit/s 24Gbit/s
Maximum bandwidth
(256bit memory bus)
1024GB/s 768GB/s 768GB/s
Maximum bandwidth
(384bit memory bus)
1536GB/s 1152GB/s 1152GB/s
Capacity per chip 16Gbit (2GB) 16Gbit (2GB) 16Gbit (2GB)
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