Updated – The next generation of AMD and Nvidia graphics cards are poised to utilize the HBM2 (High Bandwidth Memory) developed by Samsung semiconductor division. It is the world’s fastest memory chip.
HBM2 Goes Into Mass Production
As per a recent media release by Samsung, they have started making the HBM2 (High Bandwidth Memory 2), and mass production of the DRAM has already begun.
Just to give a little background to the High bandwidth memory, AMD launched the HBM based Fury X (Graphics Card) in 2015 that utilizes the HBM instead of standard GDDR5 memory used in the current gen graphics cards.
Further, the HBM used in the Fury X is 2-3 times faster compared to the GDDR5. On the other hand, the memory developed by Samsung brings 7X improvement to the data transfer speeds. As reported by Samsung, the new HBM2 is currently manufactured only in a 4 GB version. Samsung is planning to bring it in 8 GB variants by the end of this year.
Notably, the new generation of Graphics cards can take advantage of HBM 2 technology and deliver much faster performance compared to the DDR5. Besides, the HBM 2 offers a bandwidth of 256 GBPS compared to the 36 GBPS by a GDDR5 memory module.
Also, the High bandwidth memory brings in twice the energy efficiency Vs the GDDR5 resulting in lesser heat generation inside the graphics card. Samsung is using the 20 nm manufacturing process to manufacture the HBM2.
Also, there is also news that AMD and Nvidia may shift to a more efficient 16 or 14 nm manufacturing process this year for the graphics cards. The current generation of graphics cards are based on 32 nm process that is now many years old.
Intel has moved from 28 to 22 couple of years back, and then to 18 and now 14 Nm manufacturing process. Contrastingly, graphics card processors are still using ancient manufacturing process.
VR Needs More Graphics Power
Another primary reason that graphics card makers would like to push the performance higher is the VR. Moreover, the VR technology needs much more processing power compared to PC gaming. And to meet this demand, we may see a leapfrog performance boost soon.
This year it is entirely possible we may see Flagship graphics cards performance getting doubled with the HBM2 and 14 nm process by Nvidia and AMD. Although, there are many other factors at play that will decide the progress of the GPU industry in 2016.
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