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How does Graphics DRAM differ from regular DRAM?

Graphics DRAM is a category of DDR SDRAM chips made to specifically handle the enormous demands of graphics processing. Unlike standard DRAM, graphics DRAM is a fixed and dedicated memory, generally combined with the graphics processing unit (GPU) – either on the graphics card or on the system board (for systems with onboard graphics). Graphics DRAM also helps shift the display and graphics-related load away from the computer’s main memory, as well as improve the performance of the GPU and the system’s display.

What features and functions does GDDR5X have versus previous generations of Graphics DRAM?
  • GDDR5X provides twice the memory bandwidth compared to its predecessor, GDDR5;supported data rates are 10–16 Gb/s
  • Lower external voltage (1.35V)
  • The specialty of GDDR5X is doubling the bandwidth while remaining on traditional discrete package technologies (FBGA). This GDDR5X extends the lifespan of the graphic card ecosystem:
    • Cost-efficient assembly on conventional equipment
    • Mature assembly process guarantees high product reliability and fastest time to market
    • Similar BOM structure to GDDR5
    • Follows successful path of PCB assembly while enabling system data rates up to 1 TB/s
  • Higher densities
Can GDDR5X operate in GDDR5-like mode?

Yes, GDDR5X has two operation modes:

  • QDR mode, supporting speeds of 10 Gb/s and above
  • DDR mode, compatible with GDDR5 and supporting 0.2–6 Gb/s
Did GDDR5X finally add boundary scan or JTAG support?

Yes, GDDR5X added a connectivity test mode that allows electrical verification of balls after connection to a memory interface.

What is Micron’s competitive position with GDDR5X?

Micron is the first memory supplier in the industry ramping GDDR5X product. This puts Micron in the leading position on high-speed signaling with traditional memory components.

Is GDDR5X a JEDEC standard?

Yes, the GDDR5X standard was published in Dec 2015 as JESD232.

Does GDDR5X replace GDDR5?

GDDR5X is not a direct replacement for GDDR5 due to package size differences:

  • GDDR5X: BGA-190
  • GDDR5: BGA-170