Micron Enters Graphics Memory Business
If I asked you last week to name a graphics memory manufacturer you would probably have come up with one of two answers. Samsung or Hynix. If I asked the same question next year it's likely that Micron would be featured in some of your answers, assuming all goes well in the year ahead. Micron a leading manufacturer of dynamic random-access memory has decided to take a step into the DRAM market producing memory chips for graphics processors from Nvidia and ATI.
Deciding to use DDR3 memory instead of GDDR3 has distinct benefits according to Robert Feurle, Micron's VP of DRAM marketing. The most noteable is the power consumption advantage over GDDR3. With GDDR3 the memory runs at 1.8 volts whereas standard DDR3 can be taken down to 1.35 volts, offering huge power savings and no doubt cooler operating temperatures.
The memory chips are to be based on 50nm technology and start off at 1600MHz. It appears that the speed is fairly conservative but Micron want to make sure of their footing before they start to proceed any higher. Micron are said to be looking into GDDR3 and GDDR5 memory, but no plans have yet been made in regards to either.
With news of DRAM sales slumping and some manufacturers close to bankruptcy it seems like an odd time for Micron to move in other directions. However, with other companies doing poorly it gives Micron the perfect oppertunity to get in to the market and show others what they are capable of.