Samsung begins mass production of 2nd-generation HBM2 memory

14 January, 2018, 10:46 | Author: Sherman Richardson
  • Samsung 2nd-generation HBM2 memory chip

Samsung did not mention any hardware products that will use the new technology, but it is not hard to guess that we will see high-end graphics cards with 2nd-generation HBM2 memory by the end of the year.

Earlier today, Samsung Electronics announced that the 2nd-generation 8 GB High Bandwidth Memory-2 (HBM2) has entered the mass production stage.

Behind the advancement in HBM2 generations is, of course, some interesting science.

Samsung's new 8GB HBM2 delivers the highest level of DRAM performance, featuring a 2.4 Gbps 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 8 GB HBM2 package with its 1.6 Gbps pin speed at 1.2V and 2.0 Gbps at 1.35V. The company's second generation HBM2 module (also known as "Aquabolt") now features the fastest DRAM data transmission speeds to date. Aquabolt gets the job done at 1.2V.

Samsung Electronics exceptionally labeled a brand name Aquabolt for the latest HBM2 DRAM chip.

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To achieve Aquabolt's unprecedented performance, Samsung has applied new technologies related to TSV design and thermal control.

Aimed to be used for supercomputing, AI, and graphics processing, the new 8GB HMB2 uses eight 8Gb HBM2 dies, connected in a vertical stack by using over 5,000 TSVs (Through Silicon Via's) per die.

Samsung has also added improvements to the overall structure and design, increasing the thermal bumps between HBM2 dies, for better cooling and adding a new protective layer at the back for increased structural integrity. 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 Electronics say that a single Aquabolt HBM2 module is capable of transfer speeds of around 307GBps, which the company claims is 9.6 times faster compared to the older HBM2 memory controller.

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