Both the Game Developers Conference (GDC) and Nvidia's GPU Technology Conference (GTC) came and went without any new consumer graphics card announcements, so we're still in the dark as to what is coming, and when. That said, GDDR6 memory manufacturing schedules give reason to believe that Nvidia is targeting a July launch for its GeForce 11 series, or somewhere shortly after.
Gamers Nexus says it learned at GTC that SK Hynix is planning to kick its GDDR6 memory chip production into high gear in three months, and that Nvidia will be using these chips for several of its upcoming products. Some of those will include autonomous vehicle hardware, but Gamers Nexus was told to "expect GDDR6 on most, if not all, of Nvidia's upcoming gaming architecture cards."
There are a lot of 'ifs' to consider, so take this with a grain of salt. One of those is whether SK Hynix is a launch-day memory provider. If it is, then it's reasonable to expect Nvidia's next round of graphics cards to show up shortly after SK Hynix starts mass producing GDDR6 memory chips. That would put the launch perhaps sometime in July, or maybe August.
"We presently have no reason to doubt the information we were provided. Straight from the source, Hynix enters MP on GDDR6 within three months. GDDR6 will also be on future Nvidia GPUs. The big question is when those come—we’d peg it as July or later, right now," Gamer Nexus says.
The site was also told that GDDR6 is more expensive to manufacture at the moment, around 20 percent higher than GDDR5. Consumers are likely to absorb the higher costs, though as time goes on, the manufacturing costs will decrease.
SK Hynix is not the only company making GDDR6 memory chips. Samsung and Micron do as well, with Samsung saying in January that it had begun mass producing 16-gigabit (Gb) GDDR6 memory.
"Beginning with this early production of the industry’s first 16Gb GDDR6, we will offer a comprehensive graphics DRAM line-up, with the highest performance and densities, in a very timely manner," Jinman Han, senior vice president, Memory Product Planning & Application Engineering at Samsung, said at the time.
As we noted before, GDDR6 is the logical extension to the GDDR5/GDDR5X hierarchy, delivering better performance at lower operating voltages (compared to GDDR5X).
Read more about the different GPU memory types and our thoughts on what to expect.