Samsung Electronics launched an ultra-high-performance premium graphic DRAM aimed at the rapidly growing semiconductor market for artificial intelligence (AI) and autonomous navigation. This is a strategic move to maintain the memory semiconductor “super gap” strategy by expanding business areas into the next generation automotive semiconductor market as well as the existing game and graphic card market.
Samsung Electronics said on January 18 that the company started mass-production of 16 Gigabit (Gb) GDDR6 DRAMs at 18 Gbps (1 Gbps means a transfer of 1 billion bits per second), the world's highest speed. Samsung Electronics roll out the world's first 8Gbps GDDR5 DRAM at the end of 2014. In three years, the Korean semiconductor giant succeeded in doubling both the speed and capacity of graphic DRAMs. It means that Samsung Electronics opened up the GDDR6 era for the first time with a graphic DRAM while beating rivals.
Another feature is to apply a 10-nanometer microprocessor to graphic DRAMs. Samsung Electronics applied a 10nm process to PC, server and mobile DRAMs but not to graphic DRAMs. "We have improved power efficiency more than 35% and boosted productivity 30% through transition to microprocessing," a Samsung official said. "We realized high speed, high capacity, an ultra small size and ultra low power consumption all together."
Samsung Electronics expects that such ultra-high-performance graphic DRAMs will play a key role in future industries including AI. In particular, the company is planning to launch marketing aimed at the future autonomous car market in earnest. Technology to recognize objects surrounding a vehicle and process them in a short period of time and notify the driver of the situation holds the key to the success of autonomous driving solutions. This is because essential items are a graphic card with a high-speed and high-capacity graphic DRAM and graphics processing unit (GPU) in order to realize such solutions. Nvidia evaluated to have the most advanced in autonomous navigation solutions is taking the initiative in the market by applying its GPUs to autonomous navigation technology.
Samsung Electronics believes that the new DRAM will be an optimal solution to next-generation system development such as virtual reality (VR) and 8K UHD ultra-high-definition video as well.
"We will preempt the market of game and graphic cards and actively respond to increasing demand from the automobile and network markets by launching a next-generation GDDR6 graphics DRAM in advance of our competitors," said Han Jin-man, leader of product planning of the Memory Business Division at Samsung Electronics.