Samsung hosted its annual Memory Tech Day event in San Jose, California, where it unveiled two major memory technology developments – Shinebolt HBM3E memory and GDDR7 memory. These advancements are set to revolutionize the high-end processor market and offer improved efficiency and performance for various industries.
Shinebolt HBM3E memory, Samsung’s next-generation HBM3 memory, is specifically designed for high-end and high-performance processors. It boasts significantly higher capacities and greater memory bandwidth compared to its predecessor, HBM3. With a new 24Gbit HBM memory die produced on Samsung’s D1a process, Shinebolt offers 24GB and 36GB capacities, depending on the stack option. The clock speeds of up to 9.8 Gbps/pin increase memory performance by over 50% compared to HBM3.
The HBM memory generations by Samsung include Shinebolt (HBM3E), Icebolt (HBM3), Flashbolt (HBM2E), and Aquabolt (HBM2). Shinebolt stands out among its counterparts, offering the highest capacity of 36GB and the highest bandwidth per stack of 1.225TB/s.
Despite being 10% more power efficient than Icebolt per bit transferred, Shinebolt’s overall power consumption growth may be offset by an increase in clock speed. However, its advantages outweigh this concern, especially for the high-end processor market, including the AI market. Memory bandwidth and capacity play a crucial role in AI applications, particularly for large language models.
Samsung plans to ship Shinebolt in 2024 after completing the sampling phase. Looking ahead, Samsung briefly mentioned its plans for HBM4 memory, which is still a few years away from commercialization. HBM4 is expected to feature a wider 2048-bit memory interface and advanced fab and packaging technologies.
In addition to Shinebolt, Samsung provided an update on its GDDR7 memory, which was announced earlier this year. GDDR7 utilizes PAM3 encoding for improved memory transfer rates, offering a 33% bandwidth improvement over GDDR6. It also delivers a 20% improvement in power efficiency and has significantly lower stand-by power consumption compared to GDDR6. Samsung expects GDDR7 to be widely adopted by AI chip makers and the automotive industry.
While Samsung has not announced a specific date for the mass production of GDDR7, it expects to be the first vendor to ship this memory, likely in 2024. These advancements in memory technology demonstrate Samsung’s commitment to driving innovation in the high-end processor market and meeting the growing demands of emerging technologies.
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