Nvidia taps Samsung, Micron for powerful gaming chips

Nvidia announced a series of powerful gaming chips it designed using new memory tech from Micron Technology and that it is having manufactured by Samsung Electronics.
The Santa Clara, California-based Nvidia said its GeForce RTX 3090, 3080 and 3070 chips will improve video game graphics with twice the performance and nearly twice the power efficiency of previous versions.

Nvidia CEO Jensen Huang said the GeForce RTX 30 Series GPUs, delivering NVIDIA’s “greatest generational leap in company history.”

The GeForce RTX 30 series, Nvidia’s second-generation RTX GPUs, deliver up to 2x the performance and 1.9x the power efficiency over previous-generation GPUs.

Nvidia has long worked with a variety of chip manufacturers to fabricate its devices, and more recently has relied on Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing (TSMC) for its most advanced chips, Reuters reported.

Samsung will make the new GeForce chips with its 8-nanometer chipmaking process rather than its latest 5nm process. Nvidia officials said they worked with Samsung to customize the process so that Nvidia chips will be about 10 percent faster than other Samsung-made chips manufactured with the same 8nm process.

“Process technology is a lot more complex than a number. I think people have simplified it down to almost a ridiculous level,” Nvidia Chief Executive Jensen Huang told investors on a conference call last month, explaining why the company does not always use the newest chipmaking technology.

Nvidia’s chips use a number of technologies to boost graphics performance, such as using an artificial intelligence processor to make predictions about how light rays should move in a scene rather than manually calculating each ray.

The newest chips also use memory technology that Micron has been developing since 2006 called GDDR6X to double the amount of data that can be shoveled into Nvidia’s chip for processing.

“Unlike traditional memory, GDDR6X has unparalleled data rates that can keep pace with gaming innovation and data-hungry applications,” said Tom Eby, senior vice president and general manager of the compute and networking business unit at Micron.

Micron’s GDDR6X serves as a powerful enabler of NVIDIA GeForce RTX 3090 and GeForce RTX 3080 graphics cards’ performance.

Building on its most recent collaboration with Nvidia for the GeForce RTX graphics card (enabled by GDDR6), Micron transforms the memory/GPU interface with GDDR6X, accelerating performance on complex graphics workloads across next-generation gaming applications.

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