Micron starts sampling GDDR7 memory for next generation GPUs

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TL;DR: The recently introduced GDDR7 memory standard is expected to power the next generation of gaming GPUs and AI accelerators. Micron is now beginning to produce its first GDDR7 chips, emphasizing how the technology will provide significantly better performance and power efficiency.

A few months after JEDEC announced the final specifications of the GDDR7 memory standard, Micron has begun sampling its first GDDR7 chips to industry partners. According to the company, the new memory solution is based on Micron’s 1-beta DRAM technology, offering 32 Gb/s in a “power-optimized” design.

Micron’s GDDR7 memory follows five years of high-volume manufacturing of GDDR6X, a non-standardized version of JEDEC’s GDDR6 technology that the Idaho-based company developed in partnership with Nvidia. The now-standard GDDR7 memory chips can deliver over 1.5 TB/s of system bandwidth, Micron states, or up to 60 percent higher bandwidth than GDDR6.

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GDDR7 chips have four independent channels to deliver optimized workloads, providing significant improvements for gaming applications. The company anticipates that upcoming generations of GPUs will enable faster response times, smoother gameplay, and reduced processing times, all while optimizing power consumption.

GDDR7 includes a more than 50 percent improvement in power efficiency compared to GDDR6, making it highly appealing for both the PC gaming community and laptop enthusiasts seeking better battery life. Additionally, the new “sleep mode” can reduce power consumption in standby mode by up to 70 percent.

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In addition to improving frame rates and performance by more than 30 percent in both ray tracing and rasterization rendering techniques, GDDR7 is also expected to significantly enhance machine learning algorithms and AI technology. Micron states that the new memory increases throughput by up to 33 percent and reduces response times by up to 20 percent in generative AI workloads, making trendy applications such as text-to-image generation much quicker.

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As previously highlighted by industry trade organization JEDEC, the GDDR7 standard employs innovative engineering solutions, such as the PAM3 technique, to improve the signal-to-noise ratio (SNR). PAM3 was derived from Micron’s work with PAM4 signaling on GDDR6X, and further advancements are expected for future, higher-performance GDDR7 products.

High-profile technology partners working with Micron’s first GDDR7 chips include AMD and Cadence Design Systems. AMD is expected to use the new memory solution for its future gaming GPUs, while Cadence is using Micron samples to test and validate the GDDR7 PHY IP working at 36 Gb/s.

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