About a month ago, Micron announced that it will begin mass producing the GDDR5X memory standard in summer of 2016. However, several sources are saying that the company has already begun shipping samples to its customers, which is likely to include both AMD and Nvidia.
Of course, this does not indicate the start of mass producing the GDDR5X memory standard. Instead, by providing manufacturers with a sample of the upcoming memory standard, Micron will be able to speed up the gap between R&D and the commencement of mass production.
Currently, rumours are saying that both AMD and Nvidia will be utilising GDDR5X for their upcoming GPUs, which is becoming increasingly likely following Micron’s sampling advancements. In addition to that, the GDDR5X samples provided to manufactures is said to contain VRAM sizes of both 8Gb and 16Gb.
GDDR5X has been manufactured to replace the already ageing GDDR5 memory standard. The improvements that come with GDDR5X include: double the memory bandwidth, higher data rates, and best of all, backwards compatible. This is because, GDDR5X retains the design used in GDDR5, which means that manufacturers need not create a new GPU design for the new memory standard.
That being said, it’s worth keeping in mind that GDDR5X isn’t going to be able to churn out HBM-like performance. In a way, one can look at GDDR5X as a cheaper and more economical substitute to HBM. Whether or not Micron will be able to meet the summer mass production deadline remains to be seen. At least gamers and hard enthusiasts will be glad to know that GDDR5X production is doing better compared to HBM2.