Samsung begins mass production of 4GB HBM2 memory chips

Just under a week ago, JEDEC updated the High-Bandwidth Memory standard with provisions for bigger, faster memory packages. Hot on JEDEC's heels, Samsung has taken the wraps off its mass-production 4GB HBM2 chips this evening.

The company says it's fabricating these 4GB dies on its 20-nm process. Each of these packages comprises four 8Gb core dies atop a buffer die at the base of the stack. Consistent with JEDEC's specifications, each of these HBM2 dies will offer 256 GB/s of bandwidth. For comparison, Samsung says that figure is a little over seven times the bandwidth of its through-silicon via (TSV) 4Gb GDDR5 dies. HBM2 chips are claimed to deliver twice the bandwidth per watt of Samsung's GDDR5 solutions, and the company notes that its HBM2 chips come with ECC support built in, as well.

Samsung also plans to release 8GB HBM2 packages this year, a move it says will allow graphics card designers to enjoy space savings of up to 95 percent versus designing around GDDR5. None of this news will be surprising to anybody familiar with AMD's Radeon R9 Fury X and friends, but it's exciting to think about nonetheless.

The company expects to ramp up production of HBM2 over the course of the year to meet anticipated demand not only in the graphics card market, but also for applications like high-performance computing, network systems, and servers.

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