KOREAN MEMORY MANUFACTURER Hynix has announced that it has started to produce 2Gb GDDR5 memory chips using a 40nm manufacturing process. The significance of this is that Hynix will be able to get more memory chips per wafer, but apparently this isn’t the only benefit from shrinking the fab process.
Hynix claims that these new chips are up 20 percent more power efficient as they operate at 1.35V instead of the 1.5V of previous generation of 50nm GDDR5 memory. Of course in these days of environmental friendliness this is a good thing, but it also means even cooler running memory chips, which in turn means that they can run faster.
Hynix is of course quick to point this out and the new chips operate at 7Gbit/s, although this is on par with the best 50nm GDDR5 memory chips on the market today. Another benefit is of course for the graphics card manufacturers and these new 2Gb – or 256MB if you prefer – memory chips either allow for twice as much memory per graphics card or half the number of chips. The latter would save PCB space and component cost, which in turn should lead to a more affordable end product.
It’s very likely that we’ll see products from both the red and the green team using these new Hynix chips in the near future, although mass production won’t kick off until the second half of next year. However, as we know, this is unlikely to prove to be too much of a problem, as there are always some early shipments ending up in high-end cards way ahead of the mass production dates of graphics memory.S|A
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