Amid increasing global gaming demand, Samsung Electronics and SK hynix are intensifying their efforts to penetrate the “Graphics Double Data Rate (GDDR)” market, a type of high-performance DRAM dedicated to graphics.
According to a report from U.S.-based market research firm Industry Growth Insights (IGI) on Aug. 27, the GDDR market, primarily used in gaming graphics processing units (GPUs), is projected to grow from US$3.2 billion in 2018 to US$4.8 billion (approximately 6.36 trillion won) by 2030, reflecting an average annual growth rate of 7.6%. In the industry, especially high-performance GDDR variants like GDDR6, used mainly in high-end gaming graphics cards, are anticipated to see double-digit growth rates each year.
While GDDR is mainly used in GPUs and is specialized for video and graphics processing, it might not perform as well as HBM, which is typically utilized in artificial intelligence servers. Still, most personal-use gaming GPUs predominantly utilize GDDR. In this sector, Micron from the U.S. leads, but Samsung Electronics and SK hynix are following closely.
Historically, gaming GPUs were primarily a flagship product of Nvidia, a leading company in the global semiconductor sector. According to the quarterly results announced by Nvidia on Aug. 23 (local time), the company’s gaming sector revenue surged by 21.7% year-on-year to US$2.486 billion.
GDDR used in Nvidia’s GPU is predominantly supplied by Micron. However, Samsung Electronics, leveraging its HBM, is emerging as a potential leading supplier for next-generation products, signaling strong competition from domestic companies.
Samsung Electronics, in July, became the first to develop cutting-edge GDDR7 and has been providing samples to Nvidia for the verification of its integration into next-gen systems. SK hynix also plans to complete its GDDR7 development within the year.
In contrast, Micron plans to unveil its GDDR7 only in the first half of the next year. Given this, Nvidia, the largest global customer in the GPU market, is expected to primarily consider Samsung’s products for its next-generation lineup over Micron’s.