Hynix has launched GDDR4 - the speediest ever memory chip.

The chips are high bandwidth DRAM able to process heavy volumes of images, making them ideal for gaming and video editing. They're a step up from the GDDR3 generation of chips currently used on the highest performing graphics cards today. Hynix also pitched GDDR4 as ideal for 64-bit computing.

The chips operate at 2.9Gbit/s. Hynix will begin shipping samples soon, with mass production in early 2006. By the second half of next year, the company says it will further increase the chip speed.

The density and speed of Hynix's GDDR4 nudges it ahead of rival Samsung. In late October, Samsung claimed first place in the race to ship GDDR4 with a 256Mbit chip that runs at 2.5Gbit/s. It also plans to introduce a 2.8Gbit/s GDDR4 chip by the end of this year.