Micron has now announced that the mass production of GDDR5X memory chips has begun – just in time for the imminent release of Nvidia’s next generation graphics cards. Prior to this, Micron – ahead of schedule – have began distributing GDDR5X samples to selected graphics cards manufacturers in March.
Currently, only Nvidia’s GTX 1080 graphics card will be equipped with Micron’s GDDR5X memory chips. Nvidia’s rival, AMD, is also rumoured to be utilising the memory standard in its upcoming Polaris-based graphics cards. After all, it wouldn’t make much sense if Micron were manufacturing GDDR5X chips just to cater for the GTX 1080.
Micron’s GGDR5X memory chips boasts significant performance improvements compared to the older, GDDR5 memory standard. Namely faster data rates (up to 14Gbps) and twice the prefetch (16n) of the older GDDR5 memory standard (8n). All of which will result in more efficient and powerful graphics cards – just take a look at Nvidia’s GTX 1080.
For consumers, Micron’s announcement can be seen as an indicator that the GTX 1080 (and its variants) will be made available very soon; several sources are predicting a post-Computex 2016 launch. That said, one shouldn’t expect GDDR5X to be used in high-end graphics cards for a long time considering the fact that HBM2 is also said to enter mass production sometime this year. When that happens, GDDR5X chips will most probably be used in mid-end graphics cards instead.