Samsung rumored to exit graphics memory business

Nvidia, AMD, and Intel all said to be very worried

Samsung - logoRumor has it that Samsung is about to drop out of the GPU memory market. That would mean the number one supplier of GDDR5 is going away.

If this is true, it leaves Nvidia, AMD, and Intel, not to mention many specialty users, in quite a pickle. From Samsung’s point of view, it makes complete sense, low volumes, tight production tolerances, and few customers mean that even with decent margins, the net profit isn’t great.

With the GPU market imploding next year with Haswell and Kaveri, there doesn’t seem to be a future for GDDR5 that can be honestly tied to the word ‘volume’. For Samsung, a company about volume, this is a clear sign to bail out. And SemiAccurate moles say they are bailing.

We have not confirmed this with Samsung, but word has it that at least two of the three players listed above are already aware of the problem. If true, this could seriously shake up the GPU business, with volume buyers getting the first pick of scarce parts. We think Samsung will continue to make GDDR5, but not do the R&D necessary for any new spec. Keep an eye on this sector, it could get very ugly.S|A

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Charlie Demerjian

Roving engine of chaos and snide remarks at SemiAccurate
Charlie Demerjian is the founder of Stone Arch Networking Services and is a technology news site; addressing hardware design, software selection, customization, securing and maintenance, with over one million views per month. He is a technologist and analyst specializing in semiconductors, system and network architecture. As head writer of, he regularly advises writers, analysts, and industry executives on technical matters and long lead industry trends. Charlie is also available through Guidepoint and Mosaic. FullyAccurate