AMD has decided to lead the pack where GPU memory is concerned, and Qimonda is the company to deliver. The Radeon 4000 series, which will launch next month, will be the first to feature GDDR5, an evolutionary upgrade to GDDR4, which will feature faster speeds, improved bandwidth and more efficient power features.
Launch GDDR5 parts will be offered in speeds from 900MHz (3.6Gb/s) up to 1GHz (4.0Gb/s) and will run on 1.5v, compared to the 1.8v for GDDR4. Launch cards will not use memory speeds beyond 4.0Gb/s on the 16M x 32 arrangement, however, as the faster and higher-density chips will not be available to Q3 and Q4 (which go up to 5Gb/s).
Both the speed increases and feature-additions are what makes any new DRAM type worthwhile, and GDDR5 does have a few tricks up its sleeves. New is an error detection mechanism, which is similar to ECC server memory. It calculates an eight-bit CRC algorithm on each data burst and instantly allows a calculation repeat on a detected error, improving efficiency.
Then we have clamshell mode, which enables a 32 I/O to be reduced to 16 I/O, allowing each DQ to connect to a separate IC in x16 mode. This feature is a little confusing, as it makes no difference in bandwidth, so the question is, what’s the purpose? I’ll be checking with Qimonda to see if they have an answer up their sleeves.
Munich, May 21, 2008 – Qimonda AG, a leading manufacturer of memory products, today announced that the company has won AMD as launch partner for the new graphics standard GDDR5. Qimonda already started mass production and the volume shipping of GDDR5 512Mbit components with a speed of 4.0Gbps to AMD, a leading global provider of innovative processing solutions in the computing, graphics and consumer electronics markets.