Samsung begins mass production of 2nd-generation HBM2 memory

Samsung 2nd-generation HBM2 memory chip

Samsung's new 8GB HBM2 delivers the highest level of DRAM performance, featuring a 2.4Gbps pin speed at 1.2V, which translates into a performance upgrade of almost 50 percent per each package, compared to the company's 1st-generation 8GB HBM2 package with its 1.6Gbps pin speed at 1.2V and 2.0Gbps at 1.35V.

Created to replace Graphics Double Data Rate (GDDR) memory in graphics and accelerator applications, High-Bandwidth Memory reduces the distance between the RAM and the processor by placing both on an interposer layer above the integrated circuit package substrate.

Samsung on Thursday announced it has started mass production of its second-generation 8GB High Bandwidth Memory-2 (HBM2). As for bandwidth, we're looking at around 300MBps per pin, which on a 1024-bit memory bus should provide around 307GB/sec per package, times 4 bringing us to a insane 1.2TB/sec of memory bandwidth.

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An official from Samsung Electronics said, "With the latest mass production, Samsung Electronics is the only company in the industry that supplies the HBM2 DRAM chip".

Samsung will continue to refine its HBM2, as it expands the market "over the next several years", it says. By using four HBM2 packages, it is possible to achieve a 1.2TBps bandwidth, which is a 50 percent improvement compared to standard 1.6Gbps HBM2 chips. Known as Aquabolt, this premium memory solution is the direct successor of the first HBM2, known as Flarebolt. For the greater speeds achieved Samsung had to tweak the TSV design while minimising inter-layer skew. The 8GB HBM2 single packages have 8 x 8Gb HBM2 dies that Samsung vertically interconnects with over 5000 TSVs (Through Silicon Via's) per die. Using that many TSVs can cause collateral clock skew although Samsung was able to minimize the skew and boost chip performance in the process.

Samsung also added more thermal bumps between the HBM2 dies, something that will help with heat dissipation and it also doubles as a protective layer at the bottom of the HBM2 stack.


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