Samsung Tech Day 2021: DDR6-17000, GDDR6+, GDDR7 and HBM3 Roadmap

(Image credit: Samsung)

As reported by Computerbase, Samsung used the Tech Day 2021 event to showcase its future memory technology roadmap. Unfortunately, Samsung did not allow slides or photographs of the event to be captured and shared, which is a return to the note-taking days of old. However, the company shared plans on memory development pursuits for the coming years, with expected revisions and developments of standard technologies such as DDR RAM, GDDR graphics memory, and HBM3.

While standards for the next-generation DDR6 memory still haven't been set by JEDEC (DDR5 is currently still in its initial adoption phase), work is already ongoing in establishing next-generation memory technologies. Samsung announced that standard DDR6 speeds are expected to hit 12,800 MTs - while overclocked DDR6 memory (as in, any operational frequency above JEDEC's standard) could hit a ceiling at around 17,000 MT/s. Paired with the expectation of doubled memory channels for each DDR6 stick (quad-channel memory sticks compared to DDR5's dual-channel connection) and quadrupled memory bank size (64 compared to DDR5's maximum 16), DDR6 should enable an incredible jump in pure throughput and memory capacity. The low-power version of DDR6, DDR6LP, will achieve the same 17,000 MT/s operational speeds, but at 20% lower energy consumption.

Samsung is also currently developing extensions on the technology that would enable GDDR6+ chips to operate at up to 27 Gbps. NVIDIA's all-powerful RTX 3090 and its GDDR6X memory, co-developed in partnership with Micron, hits 21 Gbps, while conventional GDDR6 modules top out at 18 Gbps. As a result, real improvements will have to wait for GDDR7. While the technology doesn't currently have a date for its debut, Samsung expects the technology to be engineered at up to 32 Gbps throughput, slightly less than double the highest bandwidth available with GDDR6.


Vertical slice of Samsung's H-Cube technology for HBM3 (Image credit: Samsung)

Lastly, Samsung has confirmed that HBM3 development is running as scheduled. The company didn't confirm speeds or stack density in its Tech Day presentation and mentioned only that market availability is expected for Q2 2022. Samsung is taking a different approach to HBM3 than other memory manufacturers, however. SK Hynix, for instance, is developing 24GB memory chips with a 6.4 GT/s data transfer rate and a 1024-bit interface, providing a bandwidth of up to 819 GB/s. Samsung, on the other hand, has been exploring its Hybrid-Substrate Cube (H-Cube) technology; it aims mostly to reduce fabrication costs for HBM3 manufacturing and packaging technologies - particularly in stacks of six or higher HBM3 memory chips.

Francisco Pires
Freelance News Writer

Francisco Pires is a freelance news writer for Tom's Hardware with a soft side for quantum computing.