That's pulse-amplitude modulation, don't you know...

Samsung's new GDDR7 graphics memory delivers 50% more bandwidth thanks to PAM

(Image credit: Samsung)

Samsung has detailed some of the technology that will allow its upcoming GDDR7 graphics memory (opens in new tab) to hit 36 Gbps at its annual tech day. That’s a very healthy boost over the fastest current GDDR6 and GDDR6X memory.

That 36 Gbps figure is just the starting point, too. By comparison, GDDR6 kicked off at 14 Gbps. The key enabler for GDDR7’s improved speed is revised use of PAM, or pulse-amplitude modulation, signalling to transfer data.

In simple terms, the zeroes and ones of binary computer data is transformed into electrical waveforms when being transmitted from, say, a graphics memory chip into a GPU. PAM-2 signalling, as implemented in GDDR6, allows one bit per transmission cycle, while GDDR6X used a version called PAM-4 which doubled that to two bits per cycle. 

GDDR7 instead uses PAM-3 signalling with support for three bits per cycle, making it immediately 50% faster in terms of bandwidth at any given operating frequency. PAM-3 is also said to be more 25% more energy efficient, which is handy given the power hogs modern graphics cards are quickly becoming.

To put figures on the impact this will have on available bandwidth, the new Nvidia GeForce RTX 4080 (opens in new tab) with its 256-bit bus and 22.4 Gbps GDDR6X has 717GB/s of raw bandwidth. With GDDR7 running at 36 Gbps on that same 256-bit bus, you’d be looking at 1,152GB/s. 

Or how about the RTX 4090 (opens in new tab) and its 21 Gbps GDDR6X running over a 384-bit bus? That adds up to 1,008GB/s of bandwidth. With GDDR7, the 4090 would rock 1,728GB/s. Nice.

Samsung's new GDDR7 graphics memory delivers 50% more bandwidth thanks to PAM

(Image credit: Samsung)

As for when you can expect to see GDDR7 on a graphics card you can buy, it’s unclear whether Nvidia’s new RTX 40 series or AMD’s RDNA 3 GPUs can support GDDR7 going forward. Earlier this year, there were rumours of RTX 40-series going with super-fast GDDR7 tech. But it and AMD’s latest GPUs have stuck with GDDR6X and GDDR6 respectively as they finally hit the market.

We also recently reported on Samsung’s new GDDR6W (opens in new tab) which doubles memory density and speed per memory package, so where exactly either new graphics memory fits in with tomorrow’s GPU ranges is still very much up in the air.

Jeremy Laird

Hardware writer

Jeremy has been writing about technology and PCs since the 90nm Netburst era (Google it!) and enjoys nothing more than a serious dissertation on the finer points of monitor input lag and overshoot followed by a forensic examination of advanced lithography. Or maybe he just likes machines that go “ping!” He also has a thing for tennis and cars.

TECH NEWS RELATED

Samsung Galaxy S23 Series prices unveiled: Launch to take place on February 1

Samsung is all set to launch the Galaxy S23 Series during the Unpacked Event on February 1. Ahead of the launch, various reports keep revealing details about the specs, and features of the 3 devices- Galaxy S23, Galaxy S23+, and Galaxy S23 Ultra. Now, the latest is that the ...

View more: Samsung Galaxy S23 Series prices unveiled: Launch to take place on February 1

Samsung is working on Lifelike Pixels for OLED screens

Just days before unveiling the Galaxy S23 series, Samsung applied for a trademark for a new display technology that will be used in future products. The South Korean firm’s display manufacturing arm appears to be making improvements to its already stellar OLED technology. In South Korea, Samsung has applied ...

View more: Samsung is working on Lifelike Pixels for OLED screens

Samsung, KDDI complete SLA network slicing on a live 5G SA network

In an official newsroom post, Samsung announced that it, along with KDDI, has successfully completed the demonstration of Service Level Agreements (SLA) assurance network slicing on a live 5G SA (Standalone) network in Tokyo, Japan. This is the first time in the industry that companies have generated multiple slices ...

View more: Samsung, KDDI complete SLA network slicing on a live 5G SA network

Latest Windows 11 beta brings cloud storage settings to Galaxy Book

Microsoft is rolling out two new beta builds for Windows 11 laptops and PCs, and you can install them on your Galaxy Book. Windows 11 beta build 22623.1180 is rolling out with new features, while the Windows 11 beta build 22621.1180 update brings features that are turned off by default. ...

View more: Latest Windows 11 beta brings cloud storage settings to Galaxy Book

Galaxy A52s 5G’s January 2023 update brings Maintenance Mode

Samsung has released the January 2023 security update to many smartphones and tablets. Now, the company has released a new update to the Galaxy A52s 5G as well. The latest Galaxy A52s 5G software update comes with firmware version A528BXXU1DWA4. The update comes with the January 2023 security update ...

View more: Galaxy A52s 5G’s January 2023 update brings Maintenance Mode

Carrier-locked Galaxy Z Flip grabs January 2023 security update in the US

The Galaxy Z Flip was one of the first devices to get the January 2023 security patch. However, back then, Samsung rolled out the update only to the international LTE and the 5G variants of the device. Today, the company is making the January 2023 security patch available for ...

View more: Carrier-locked Galaxy Z Flip grabs January 2023 security update in the US

Galaxy XCover Pro, XCover 5 get January 2023 security update

Samsung started rolling out the January 2023 security patch to its smartphone right from the first day of the year. So far, the company has pushed the latest security update to many Galaxy S, Galaxy Note, Galaxy M, Galaxy A, and Galaxy Z series devices. Now, Samsung has started ...

View more: Galaxy XCover Pro, XCover 5 get January 2023 security update

You can no longer use Google Voice Smart Reply on your Samsung phone

With the latest update to Google Voice, Google has removed the Smart Reply feature from the app. This feature is no longer supported on your Samsung or any other Android phone. Also, this feature isn’t available on iOS either. Google added the Smart Reply feature to Google Voice last ...

View more: You can no longer use Google Voice Smart Reply on your Samsung phone

Galaxy Z Fold 4 gets served with January 2023 security update

Galaxy M31 starts getting January 2023 security update

Check out the features of the new Bespoke 4-Door Flex with Family Hub+

Xiaomi phone with Samsung E6 OLED breaks Android display brightness record

Galaxy S20 FE gets January 2023 security update

Samsung is reportedly making OLED displays for iPad Pro, MacBook Pro

Galaxy S10 5G gets January 2023 security update

Third-party Twitter apps are now officially dead

Samsung’s new OLED screen can be folded inward and outward

Galaxy Z Flip 4 gains January 2023 security update

Daily Deal: Samsung’s most stylish flash drive gets 63% price cut

US pricing has leaked for Samsung’s Galaxy S23 series – it’s good news

OTHER TECH NEWS

Top Car News Car News