While GDDR6 is currently available at speeds up to 14Gbps, and 16Gbps speeds are right around the corner, if the standard is going to have as long a lifespan as GDDR5, then it can't stop there. To that end, Rambus this week demonstrated operation of its GDDR6 memory subsystem at a data transfer rate of 18 GigaTransfers/second, a new record for the company. Rambus’s controller and PHY can deliver a peak bandwidth of 72 GB/s from a single 32-bit GDDR6 DRAM chip, or a whopping 576 GB/s from a 256-bit memory subsystem, which is what we're commonly seeing on graphics cards today.

The Rambus demonstration involved the company’s silicon-proven GDDR6 PHY implemented using one of TSMC’s 7 nm process nodes, accompanied by Northwest Logic’s GDDR6 memory controller and GDDR6 chips from an unknown maker. According to a transmit eye screenshot published by Rambus, the subsystem worked fine and the signals were clean.

Both GDDR6 controller and PHY can be licensed from Rambus by developers of SoCs, so the demonstration is both a testament to how well the company’s highly-integrated 7 nm GDDR6 solution works, and a means to promote their IP offerings.

It is noteworthy that Rambus, along with Micron and a number of other companies, has been encouraging the use of GDDR6 memory in products besides GPUs for quite some time. Various accelerators for AI, ML, and HPC workloads as well as networking gear and autonomous driving systems greatly benefit from the technology's high memory bandwidth and are therefore a natural fit for GDDR6. The demonstration is meant to show companies developing SoCs that Rambus has a fine GDDR6 memory solution implemented using a leading-edge process technology that can be easily integrated (with the help of engineers from Rambus) into their designs.

For the graphics crowd, Rambus’ demonstration gives a hint of what to expect from upcoming implementations of GDDR6 memory subsystems and indicates that GDDR6 still has some additional room for growth in terms of data transfer rates.

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Source: Rambus

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  • Samus - Friday, November 1, 2019 - link

    Damn, and to think 20 years ago most videocards and memory buses got like 1GB/s Reply
  • Lesliestandifer - Saturday, November 2, 2019 - link

    Yea I can’t imagine what they would use it for maybe deep learning or AI but ram bus bandwidth doesn’t help pc gaming. If it helped either I would think something like a Radeon VII and it’s 1TB/s HBM would be better suited. Reply
  • PeachNCream - Friday, November 1, 2019 - link

    Rambus, now there's a name that brings back lots of negative memories. I doubt that much of the company's old leadership is still in place. Perhaps things have changed and the company is doing meaningful work nowadays. I'm willing to hold off on making judgements about the company and see if more interesting things are coming. Reply
  • Slash3 - Saturday, November 2, 2019 - link

    Oh, sweet summer child... Reply
  • Yojimbo - Friday, November 1, 2019 - link

    It's funny (scary, actually) what people remember and don't remember and how passionate they can be about things they really don't understand. It shows what the power of the media can really be. One looks at cases like Rambus and one can see why ideologues fight so hard to publicly demonize and frame people in the media. It often doesn't take much, either. Everybody "knows" Ty Cobb was a racist, etc.

    Regarding Rambus, they aggressively tried to get everybody attached to their IP 20 years ago. They were never a "patent troll" company. They developed their own IP, and still do. They are sort of like ARM or Interdigital or lots of other companies that develop IP that solve problems for an industry with the intention of licensing their solutions. Companies like that do their own research and do real work to solve real problems. ARM has their own ecosystem, unlike Rambus (although Rambus did develop a proprietary memory RDRAM that Intel chose for their Pentium 4 chips because they needed something with high clock rates. But the memory manufacturers tried to resist that memory and in the end the Pentium 4 was a failure (its design philosophy was a failure, rather) owing to a shift in the physics of semiconductor manufacturing at smaller scales.) A company like Rambus or Interdigital, however, tends to work with the industry standards bodies. 20+ years ago Rambus was very aggressive, though, and was accused of hiding the fact that they already held patents on things they proposed to be put into the standards, or something along those lines.

    None of the current board of directors of Rambus were directors when the lawsuits were filed, and from what I see, only 2 were even directors when the lawsuits were even going on (which dragged out for years after filing, as those things do). The corporate leadership (CEO, etc) are entirely different.

    In contrast, no one seems to remember that at the same time as this Rambus stuff was going on (20 years ago), Samsung and Hynix were found guilty of price fixing by both the US and the EU regulators.
    Reply
  • Yojimbo - Friday, November 1, 2019 - link

    I write this because I am just sick of seeing the same stupid shit from 20 years ago every time the name "Rambus" is mentioned. Reply
  • Lord of the Bored - Saturday, November 2, 2019 - link

    You're conveniently forgetting the part where they were filing addendums to their patents to add things that were discussed by JEDEC. Adding them to patents that hadn't covered them before.

    They were patenting other people's inventions by stapling the work of others on to their own patents. It was transparent patent-troll behavior. By most counts I've seen, they still do so today, just slightly less transparently.

    I haven't forgotten DRAM price-fixing. It hasn't escaped my attention that it still goes on today, either.
    Reply
  • Yojimbo - Sunday, November 3, 2019 - link

    If that is something that really happened, me forgetting it really is convenient because it's as irrelevant as everything else. I don't think people understand was a corporation is. What if they had changed their name to Intercom and then the entire ownership and leadership structure changed? What it be OK to forget it then? What if they were bought out by somebody who took on the name Rambus but the original Rambus unit was spun off and renamed as Abracadabra? What shouldwe remember now? The alien concept we have created which is the corporation does not fit naturally with our tribe and clan based brains. By not recognizing that we make ourselves open to exploitation by the corporations who can take advantage of our misperceptions in clever ways.

    But as for you saying that Rambus is currently "stapling the work of other to their own patents" in some way that isn't an industry standard way of acting, please point us to where they are doing that. That seems a lot more useful and important than arguing about something from 20 years ago. You say it is "by most counts you've seen" so it should be rather easy for you to give us some details.

    PS, I am not sure why you think DRAM price-fixing is going on today.
    Reply
  • xenol - Tuesday, November 5, 2019 - link

    As much as I want to believe you, I'd have to issue a [citation needed]

    Sure, it goes the other way too, but a claim like this warrants something other than a commenter's word.
    Reply
  • eastcoast_pete - Saturday, November 2, 2019 - link

    How about the latency of that "fastest GDDR6"? If they reduced that, it might see more non-graphics use.
    One of the reasons why GDDR memory isn't typically used as system RAM even in systems where build costs are secondary is that graphics memory typically has a lot more latency than DDR4, DDR3, etc. I always wondered how that longer latency affects consoles like the XBox OneX and the PS4 Pro, which use GDDR also to feed the CPU part.
    Reply

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