According to sources close to Hothardware, chip designer Micron has started shipping the first samples of its next-generation GDDR5X memory for customers to test and validate. GDDR5X is an evolution of GDDR5, aiming to increase data rates and reduce power consumption by changing how data is fetched and gathered by the memory chips. Although it’s not a brand new memory standard, GDDR5X is expected to double the available bandwidth without increasing chip density, which saves vendors money on existing GPU designs. Micron is initially targeting 12Gb/s speeds with this release, and ultimately wants to hit 16Gb/s, or 2GB/s, of memory bandwidth, which is a doubling over GDDR5. GDDR5X was added as a memory standard by the JEDEC standards body in January 2016.
This means that memory vendors can go crazy with higher chip densities and sizes, and GPU manufacturers need simply update their memory controllers to take advantage of the extra bandwidth. I don’t expect to see GDDR5X chips inside AMD’s Polaris family or NVIDIA’s Pascal lineup, but the next-next generation of products launching in 2017 will surely feature this technology.