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Samsung debuts Flashbolt, its latest and highest-capacity generation of HBM2E memory

Samsung has new 16GB HBM2E memory. (Source: Samsung)
Samsung has new 16GB HBM2E memory. (Source: Samsung)
Today (February 4, 2020) Samsung has unveiled its latest memory solution for the high-performance computing (HPC) market. It is a form of state-of-the-art high bandwidth memory 2E (HBM2E) with 16GB of capacity per chip. This doubles the specification of its previous generation, and is owed to its new DRAM die layout.

Samsung has just announced its latest development in new HBM2E memory, which is dubbed "Flashbolt". It consists of extremely powerful, fast chips of 16GB in size. This is twice the capacity of its previous generation, Aquabolt.

Flashbolt achieves its new upper limit in HBM technology as it comprises a vertical stack of 8 16-gigabit (Gb) 10nm-class DRAM dies on a single buffer chip. Each stack is capable of up to 538GB per second (GB/s) of bandwidth, which translates to a theoretical maximum data-transfer speed of 4.2Gb/s.

However, Samsung claims that Flashbolt's typical transfer speed is 3.2Gb/s, with a maximal per-stack speed bandwidth of 410GB/s. Nevertheless, this is still hugely impressive, and also easily outpaces Aquabolt's 2.4Gb/s top speed, with a theoretical max of 307GB/s per stack.

Speaking in conjunction with the launch of Flashbolt, Samsung's executive vice president of Memory Sales & Marketing, Cheol Choi, stated that the company was "taking a critical step to enhance our role as the leading innovator in the fast-growing premium memory market”. The new product tipped to enable this is aimed at HPC applications such as high-intensity graphics, AI-enabled analytics and general supercomputing.

HBM2E memory such as this is also suitable for deep learning and related applications. Samsung may start producing its new 16GB chips within the first half of 2020 (1H2020). However, its predecessor Aquabolt will remain available to interested buyers, and will tide them over until the company is ready to transition to Flashbolt, which will be the third generation of its line.

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Deirdre O Donnell, 2020-02- 4 (Update: 2020-02- 4)
Deirdre O'Donnell
I became a professional writer and editor shortly after graduation. My degrees are in biomedical sciences; however, they led to some experience in the biotech area, which convinced me of its potential to revolutionize our health, environment and lives in general. This developed into an all-consuming interest in more aspects of tech over time: I can never write enough on the latest electronics, gadgets and innovations. My other interests include imaging, astronomy, and streaming all the things. Oh, and coffee.