Samsung juices its HBM2 to 2.4 GT/s and names it Aquabolt

Late yesterday evening (or late this morning, in Seoul) Samsung announced that it's stepped up the speed of its HBM2 memory offerings from 1.6 GT/s to 2.4 GT/s. The speed increase comes without a change in supply voltage unlike the 2.0 GT/s intermediate step that required 1.35 V rather than the standard 1.2 V input. Samsung has apparently decided to call the new memory Aquabolt.

The step up in speed results in a total bandwidth per package of 307 GB/s. As Samsung points out, using four Aquabolt HBM2 packages would result in a total bandwidth of about 1.2 TB/s. The company says it worked hard to overcome challenges in managing both clock skews and thermal output with the new packages. Samsung also says that the new Aquabolt packages are also more durable than the last-generation chips as a result of the improved design.

The 50% jump in transfer rate would boost a Vega M GH chip from 205 GB/s to the aforementioned 307 GB/s—nearly matching a brand-new Xbox One X. The press release doesn't actually say when Aquabolt will be available to vendors, but it does say that the new memory is "in mass production." We'd take that to mean that we could see products using these parts later this year.

Speaking of the previous-generation offerings, along with this announcement comes the interesting tidbit that Samsung's previous HBM2 was called Flarebolt. The earliest mention we can find of that name is a US trademark filing from December 12 last year, so it's probably safe to say that Samsung has only recently decided to start branding its HBM offerings. Whatever the names, we're always happy to see faster RAM.

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