On January 21, 2016 JEDEC announced about the publication of new memory standard GDDR5X. They announced the publication of JESD232 Graphics Double Data Rate (GDDR5X) SGRAM. The need for new memory standard is to satisfy the increasing need of more memory bandwidth in graphics, gaming, compute, and networking applications.
But in their application, not all the features were standardized. Like AC timing in the memory was not standardized. So, vendor can make use of its standard features. It is derived from the widely adopted GDDR5 memory standard. The design and operability of memory chips for applications requiring very high memory bandwidth. JEDEC claim that it will operate at much higher data rates. The data rates upto 10-14 Gb/s which is over 2 times the GDDR5 memory.
“GDDR5X represents a significant leap forward for high end GPU design,” said Mian Quddus, JEDEC Board of Directors Chairman. “Its performance improvements over the prior standard will help enable the next generation of graphics and other high-performance applications.”
Last year, AMD came out with solutions for High Bandwidth memory. They have their AMD RX 300 series graphics based on HBM memory. Fury and R9 Nano are using HBM memory over GDDR5 memory. It saves the lot of space as compared to GDDR5 memory modules.
Why need GDDR5X ?
JEDEC have standardized HBM technology in 2013. It was considered to be successor of GDDR5 memory. It was also revolutionary innovation in semiconductor industries. AMD implemented in their Graphic Cards. Nvidia demonstrated HBM in their Pascal GPU. The bandwidth of HBM per stack is 100 Gbps. It is also 1024-bit wide which is greater than GDDR5 memory. It was invented to fill the gap between HBM and GDDR5.
The GDDR5 standard covered memory chips with 512 Mb, 1 Gb, 2 Gb, 4 Gb and 8 Gb capacities. The GDDR5X standard defines devices with 4 Gb, 6 Gb, 8 Gb, 12 Gb and 16 Gb capacities. It is not a new memory, as only the extension of GDDR5 memory. The company says that GDDR5X’s power consumption is 2-2.5W per DRAM component and 10-30W per board.
But it will require a new PCB and memory modules. They don’t need interposer as in HBM memory. So leaving new PCB board and memory modules, it will use same as GDDR5 memory. considering the specification, it will lies between GDDR5 memory and High end HBM memory.
So consumers will have to choose between the two memory HBM and GDDR5X. second generation HBM provides 1TB bandwidth of memory for high end users. GDDR5X with 14 Gbps of bandwidth will provide the solution for Mainstream users.