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Micron samples first GDDR 3 chips

Fast, low-power DDR for graphics

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Memory maker Micron has begun sampling what it claims is the world's first third-generation DDR SDRAM chips developed specifically for graphics applications.

The memory, dubbed GDDR 3, is roughly one-and-a-half times the speed of the previous generation, GDDR 2, yet consumes half the power, just 2W, said Micron. That comes from a lower operating voltage: 1.8V compared to GDDR 2's 2.5V. GDDR 3 provides an aggregate bandwidth of 6.4GBps per device thanks to a 1.6Gbps per pin data rate. It clocks between 600MHz and 800MHz, but Micron reckons it can go higher.

Micron's version of the technology is fabbed at 0.11 micron. Samples have naturally been sent to ATI, which co-developed the technology, but chips have gone to market leader Nvidia too.

As yet, GDDR 3 has not been ratified by JEDEC, the body that governs standards in the memory industry. However, Micron believes that will be a formality given the heavy involvement of a number of DRAM and graphics players in the technology's development.

Volume production is expected to begin later this year. ®

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