Just when you thought graphics memory couldn’t get any faster (well, ok, you never thought that) it has.
Inevitably produced by Samsung, GDDR4 is the next step in cutting edge performance and can process gaming and video images at a staggering 2.5 gigabits per second (Gbps). This is a massive increase on the previous benchmark achieved by GDDR3 which tops out at 1.6Gbps. Samsung says the new speeds were achieved primarily due to a couple of new technologies introduced with GDDR4. These are DBI (Data Bus Inversion) and Multi-Preamble which the company claims “eliminates all data transmission delay”. The result: a 56 per cent boost on any graphics product on the market today.
Interestingly, apart from these changes GDDR4 retains an almost identical design to that of GDDR3 which should minimise inconvenience to graphics card and chipset manufacturers. Modules to the size of 256MB have been fabbed up to this point, with a 2.8Gbps sample expected to appear before the end of the year.
Quite what will be able to use these new breakneck speeds at this stage is another question entirely, but it makes ATI and nVidia put their thinking caps on and that we like very, very much.