Skip to main content

There’s life in the old dog yet: Micron said to be working on GDDR6

micron gddr5x production micronchips
Image used with permission by copyright holder
Update: Micron reached out to us in the wake of this article to clarify details on its memory developments:

“The new memory advancements coming from Micron in 2016 are going to be called GDDR5X, not GDDR6 as was mentioned in the article. GDDR5X and GDDR6 are not the same product and Micron has not announced any plans involving GDDR6.”

It also clarified that GDDR5X is not designed to be a replacement or direct competitor to HBM:

“GDDR5X is intended to provide significant performance improvements to designs that are currently using GDDR5, therefore giving system designers the option of delivering enhanced performance without dramatically altering current architectures.”

Original Story

Although AMD’s Fury line of GPUs didn’t exactly set the world on fire, what was of real interest was its use of High Bandwidth Memory (HBM) which offers a number of performance and efficiency benefits over traditional GDDR5 solutions found in most contemporary graphics cards. Micron may have an alternative, and it’s the sequel to the latter memory standard.

Some are already calling it GDDR6, purportedly. This is a rumor coming from “internal sources,” so take that as you will, but the talk of new hardware is always worth letting tongues wag.

The Micron source is claiming (via Fudzilla) that the new memory standard will offer a bandwidth as high as 10-14 gigabits per 4GB module. In comparison, GDDR5 offers just 7Gbps for the same chip size. It also offers a sizable improvement over 8GB GDDR5 modules, which are touted as having a bandwidth up to 8Gbps.

Even if in the ideal scenario where a doubling of memory bandwidth was felt, this is unlikely to make GDDR6 a higher-performing alternative to HBM, which already offers more than double the performance of GDDR5 in comparable sizes. It is also not likely to be as efficient as HBM, nor as low-latency thanks to its placement in close proximity to the GPU, rather than on the PCB.

But none of that matters as much as it should right now, because despite AMD’s mainstream (albeit high-end) GPUs releasing with the new HBM standard back in the middle of this year, there are still shortages of those chips. Its sequel, HBM 2.0, which will offer even further performance and efficiency gains than its predecessor, is not expected to be ready until well into 2016.

If Nvidia is really thinking about adding HBM or HBM 2.0 to its new generation Maxwell cards, as is rumored, that will make supplies even scarcer.

And that’s where GDDR6 could come in. It may not be a viable contender for HBM in raw bandwidth, but it could be a great stopgap, and its more conventional design may make it easier to implement. Perhaps we’ll see the next generation of graphics cards from both AMD and Nvidia take a two-prong approach, with the most expensive cards sporting HBM/HBM 2.0, and the lower end cards using the more plentiful GDDR6.

Jon Martindale
Jon Martindale is the Evergreen Coordinator for Computing, overseeing a team of writers addressing all the latest how to…
Asus ROG Ally X vs. Steam Deck OLED: Has the champion been dethroned?
The Asus ROG Ally X console.

It's not much of an overstatement to say that when Valve released the original Steam Deck, it started a real handheld PC revolution. Launching the Steam Deck OLED only emphasized that while there may be other, more powerful consoles on the market now, Valve's offering still stands strong against the competition. But can it hold its ground against the Asus ROG Ally X?

The two handhelds have more in common than it might seem at first glance. While both are refreshes, neither is a full-blown version 2.0. How do they stack up against each other, though? We've reviewed both ourselves, so we now know the answer to that question. Read our comparison to find out which device wins in a battle between the Asus ROG Ally X and the Steam Deck OLED.

Read more
The best 5K monitors you can buy for max resolution
A person using the Dell UltraSharp 40 U4025QW 40-inch curved Thunderbolt hub monitor with a Dell laptop on a desk.

We all know that 5K monitors come with a relatively steep price tag. However, they remain a top choice among serious creative professionals, including photographers, videographers, filmmakers, and graphic designers. These displays not only deliver exceptionally sharp and detailed imagery but also feature high-end, factory-calibrated panels to ensure precise color reproduction.

A true 5K resolution is defined as 5120 by 2880 pixels, with many manufacturers emphasizing the horizontal pixel count. It's important to note that only a few monitors offer this exact resolution. Therefore, we have compiled a list of the top monitors that also provide a 5K2K resolution (5120 by 2160 pixels).

Read more
The popular HP Omen gaming PC has a $700 discount today — 34% off!
HP Omen 45L sitting on a table.

If you're planning to buy a new gaming PC, we highly recommend checking out HP's offer for the HP Omen 45L. This configuration with the Nvidia GeForce RTX 4060 Ti graphics card, which usually sells for $2,050, is down to $1,340 following a 34% discount. That's $710 in savings that you won't find anywhere else, and that you may miss if you take too long thinking whether or not you should take advantage of this bargain. You're going to regret it if you let this opportunity slip through your fingers, so you should proceed with your purchase immediately.

Why you should buy the HP Omen 45L gaming desktop
For those thinking about upgrading their gaming PC, you can't go wrong with the popular HP Omen 45L. The machine promises high-quality gaming performance with the Nvidia GeForce RTX 4060 Ti, which sits at the sweet spot for higher-end graphics cards, according to our guide on how to buy a gaming desktop. Combined with the 13th-generation Intel Core i7 processor and 16GB of RAM, you're going to get a gaming PC that will be able to run the best PC games without any issues, albeit not at their highest settings. You may need to install better components in the future once the upcoming PC games of a few years down the line arrive, but that will be easy to do with the tool-less design of the HP Omen 45L.

Read more