Samsung starts mass production of 8GB HBM2 'Aquabolt'

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Samsung on Thursday announced it has started mass production of its second-generation 8GB High Bandwidth Memory-2 (HBM2). Four of these Aquabolt HBM2 memory controllers when stacked are able to churn out an eye opening data transmission speed of 1.2TBps.

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.

Asserting Samsung's new found dominance and position in the fast-paced DRAM market with its first generation "Flarebolt" HBM2 already being used in many current and upcoming AMD graphics cards has resulted in Samsung overtaking Intel's top position in semiconductor revenue after over 24 years.

The production milestone was heralded by Jaesoo Han, executive vice president, Memory Sales & Marketing at Samsung Electronics, who said that the new memory chips would strengthen Samsung's memory industry leadership competitiveness.

According to Samsung, the 8GB HBM2 package peaks at 307.2 GB/s of bandwidth, which is 9.6 times faster than on an 8Gb GDDR5 chip. A single 8GB HBM2 package consists of eight 8Gb HBM2 dies, which are vertically interconnected using over 5,000 TSVs (Through Silicon Via's) per die.

In order to hit 2.4Gbps data rate at rather impressive 1.2V, Samsung had to minimize the collateral clock skew by applying some new TSV technologies. In one further tweak, not related to performance, Samsung felt the need to include an additional protective layer at the bottom of the HBM2 chip stack, which increases the package's overall physical strength.

We don't know when this super-fast HBM2 will begin appearing on new graphics cards, but I'm sure we might see something new at NVIDIA's own GPU Technology Conference in a few months time.

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