We have been seeing GDDR5 memory chips in high-end video cards for more than four years now. In those four years the speed of GDDR5 has been enhanced substantially. But the next big milestone in video card memory is at hand with the arrival of GDDR6 memory.
From 2014 onward we will be seeing GDDR6 memory chips appearing in video cards, drastically improving the graphical capabilities of our computers and games.
Normally it doesn’t take this long for a new video card memory standard to appear. GDDR5 can therefor be seen as a very successful video card memory standard. The first video card with GDDR5 memory was AMD’s HD4870 back in 2008, and achieved an effective speed of 3,6 GHz, which still is a good to mediocre memory clock speed. The fastest video card by this writing is Nvidia’s GTX 680, which is able to achieve a memory clock speed of 6GHz with GDDR5 memory, almost two times as fast as AMD’s 2008 GDDR5 video card. Because GDDR5 memory chips could be improved with such an extend they kept GDDR6 memory up the shelves.
Chip maker AMD, that played an extensive role in the creation of the original GDDR memory standard, has made the first steps towards GDDR6 memory by contributing to the so called JEDEC group that’s behind the new memory standard. It is expected that the faster and more efficient GDDR6 chips will be appearing from 2014 onward in Nvidia and AMD video cards. The new memory chip standard is expected to be used at least until the year 2020, the same time period as GDDR5. I’m very curious of what we can expect from the upcoming GDDR6 video cards.
Sure is that GDDR6 video cards will be a lot faster and more energy efficient, which alone will let us do things on our computers we can not do as consumers today. As video cards will be able to go far beyond the capabilities of GDDR5 memory, clock speeds of 12GHz and beyond do not seem that far fetched for future GDDR6-based video cards.