Micron Technology this week confirmed that it had begun mass production of GDDR5X memory. As revealed last week, the first graphics card to use the new type of graphics DRAM will be NVIDIA’s upcoming GeForce GTX 1080 graphics adapter powered by the company’s new high-performance GPU based on its Pascal architecture.

Micron’s first production GDDR5X chips (or, how NVIDIA calls them, G5X) will operate at 10 Gbps and will enable memory bandwidth of up to 320 GB/s for the GeForce GTX 1080, which is only a little less than the memory bandwidth of NVIDIA’s much wider memory bus equipped (and current-gen flagship)  GeForce GTX Titan X/980 Ti. NVIDIA’s GeForce GTX 1080 video cards are expected to hit the market on May 27, 2016, and presumably Micron has been helping NVIDIA stockpile memory chips for a launch for some time now.

NVIDIA GPU Specification Comparison
  GTX 1080 GTX 1070 GTX 980 Ti GTX 980 GTX 780
Memory Clock 10Gbps GDDR5X GDDR5 7Gbps
Memory Bus Width 256-bit ? 384-bit 256-bit 384-bit
VRAM 8 GB 8 GB 6 GB 4 GB 3 GB
VRAM Bandwidth 320 GB/s ? 336 GB/s 224 GB/s 288 GB/s
Est. VRAM Power Consumption ~20 W ? ~31.5 W ~20 W ?
TDP 180 W ? 250 W 165 W 250 W
GPU "GP104" "GP104" GM200 GM204 GK110
Manufacturing Process TSMC 16nm TSMC 16nm TSMC 28nm
Launch Date 05/27/2016 06/10/2016 05/31/2015 09/18/2014 05/23/2013

Earlier this year Micron began to sample GDDR5X chips rated to operate at 10 Gb/s, 11 Gb/s and 12 Gb/s in quad data rate (QDR) mode with 16n prefetch. However, it looks like NVIDIA decided to be conservative and only run the chips at the minimum frequency.

As reported, Micron’s first GDDR5X memory ICs (integrated circuits) feature 8 Gb (1 GB) capacity, sport 32-bit interface, use 1.35 V supply and I/O voltage as well as 1.8 V pump voltage (Vpp). The chips come in 190-ball BGA packages with 14×10 mm dimensions, so, they will take a little less space on graphics cards than GDDR5 ICs.

The announcement by Micron indicates that the company will be the only supplier of GDDR5X memory for NVIDIA’s GeForce GTX 1080 graphics adapters, at least initially. Another important thing is that GDDR5X is real, it is mass produced now and it can indeed replace GDDR5 as a cost-efficient solution for gaming graphics cards. How affordable is GDDR5X? It should not be too expensive - particularly as it's designed as an alternative to more complex technologies such as HBM - but this early in the game it's definitely a premium product over tried and true (and widely available) GDDR5.

Source: Micron

Comments Locked


View All Comments

  • SleepyFE - Thursday, May 12, 2016 - link

    So we can go from SDR to DDR but QDR is too much? Anyone who knows any of those acronyms knows them all. Anyone who doesn't doesn't care. I care because the acronyms stand for something descriptive. An all terrain four wheeler is not called a bikex after all.
  • qap - Friday, May 13, 2016 - link

    Actually no one used "SDR" (SDRAM has different meaning if anyone wonders). It appeared only as afterthought when DDR arrived. So really - industry massively adopted only "DDR" so far.
  • extide - Friday, May 13, 2016 - link

    Yeah, technically it would be SDR SDRAM and DDR SDRAM, etc.
  • dusty5683 - Thursday, May 12, 2016 - link

    My guess is that QDR is just another mode, it can still operate in DDR mode. Also the addressing scheme is the same as DDR. Its probably also a little to do with not wanting to use a new acronym.
  • Despoiler - Thursday, May 12, 2016 - link

    Correct. It has multiple modes it can operate in.
  • CaedenV - Thursday, May 12, 2016 - link

    Let's Review!

    SDRRAM was old-school ram that could send one bit of information per clock
    DDR SDRAM is 'current' RAM that sends 2 bits per clock (one bit on the tick, and one of the tock)
    QDR SDRAM would mean that you can somehow send 4 bits per clock... which has no end of issues, and is not done.

    Dual DDR SDRAM is a configuration where you have DDR with 2 chanels of access to it (Think RAID0 with 2 drives)
    Quad DDR SDRAM (which is essentially what this is) is DDR with 4 channels of access to it (Think RAID0 with 4 drives)

    Anywho that is why it is not QDR memory; GQDR5 would not make any sense. GQDDR5 is a mouthful. GDDR5x... that is just marketing gold right there.
  • Cygni - Thursday, May 12, 2016 - link

    The G and 5 are not really meaningful, so you could easily just call it QDDR. It's really just dumb marketing jargon from an industry full of comically bad marketing jargon, so I guess that shouldn't be a surprise.
  • willis936 - Thursday, May 12, 2016 - link

    ... except it is 4 bits per clock and is QDR and it is done in the real world and this isn't the first technology to do it.
  • MrSpadge - Friday, May 13, 2016 - link

    Yep, Pentium 4 FSB and some version of AGP used QDR.
  • SleepyFE - Friday, May 13, 2016 - link

    I think it's 2 bits per clock with 2 clocks.

Log in

Don't have an account? Sign up now