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Samsung completes development of 12-layer 3D TSV DRAM for high-capacity HBM2 modules

The new 12-layer 3D DRAM packaging will first be integrated in 24 GB HBM2 modules. (Source: Samsung)
The new 12-layer 3D DRAM packaging will first be integrated in 24 GB HBM2 modules. (Source: Samsung)
The jump from 8-layer to 12-layer 3D TSV DRAM designs will enable AIB integrators to include as much as 96 GB of HBM2 DRAM on a single board, increasing the memory bus to 4,096-bit. The resulting increase in memory bandwidth will prove beneficial to AI, HPC and FPGA applications.
Bogdan Solca,
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GDDR VRAM seems to be the memory of choice for gaming graphics cards, but GPUs are not solely restricted to graphics acceleration anymore. AI and HPC applications together with specialized FPGAs can also benefit from scalable GPU power, but in order to take full advantage of such applications, system integrators need to opt for the more versatile HBM RAM, which can provide higher memory capacity per card via improved packaging technologies. HBM2 is admittedly slower than the GDDR6 standard, yet Samsung’s latest breakthrough in DRAM 3D packaging could give the HBM standard the edge it needs.
 
With the jump from 8-layer to 12-layer 3D DRAM packaging, Samsung is opening up ways to overcome the limitations of Moore’s law scaling. The 12-layer stack dies feature 60,000 through silicon via holes in the same 720 micron thickness. This allows for thinner DRAM layers, and Samsung admits it needs to tighten the yields as the mass production of such packages is becoming more challenging.
 
Samsung will first integrate the 12-layer DRAM packaging process in its upcoming 24 GB HBM2 stack dyes. The increased DRAM capacities will allow integrators to add as much as 48 or even 96 GB of memory per card with 2,048 or 4,096-bit buses and considerably increased memory bandwidths. However, 6 and 12 GB configurations are still possible.
 
No word on pricing for the time being, but, since Samsung is the only one producing the high-capacity HBM2 modules, price points will most likely be higher than those of GDDR6 modules.

The jump from 8 to 12-layer stacks (Source: Samsung)
The jump from 8 to 12-layer stacks (Source: Samsung)
Through Silicon Via architecture simplifications (Source: Samsung)
Through Silicon Via architecture simplifications (Source: Samsung)

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Bogdan Solca
Bogdan Solca - Senior Tech Writer - 1577 articles published on Notebookcheck since 2017
I first stepped into the wondrous IT&C world when I was around seven years old. I was instantly fascinated by computerized graphics, whether they were from games or 3D applications like 3D Max. I'm also an avid reader of science fiction, an astrophysics aficionado, and a crypto geek. I started writing PC-related articles for Softpedia and a few blogs back in 2006. I joined the Notebookcheck team in the summer of 2017 and am currently a senior tech writer mostly covering processor, GPU, and laptop news.
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> Notebook / Laptop Reviews and News > News > News Archive > Newsarchive 2019 10 > Samsung completes development of 12-layer 3D TSV DRAM for high-capacity HBM2 modules
Bogdan Solca, 2019-10- 9 (Update: 2019-10- 9)