Samsung begins production of 4GB DRAM for servers

The Korean semiconductor giant has developed new 20nm memory that it says is capable of double the bandwidth seen in its previous High Bandwidth Memory.
Written by Cho Mu-Hyun, Contributing Writer on

Samsung Electronics, the world's second largest semiconductor maker, has begun mass producing 4 gigabyte DRAM that uses the latest bandwidth interface aimed at servers and advanced graphics, the company said.

The South Korean tech giant said its second-generation High Bandwidth Memory (HBM2) interface will boost its DRAM's data transmission speed by seven times, which will be optimal for high-performance computing, graphics rendering, machine learning, networks, and servers.

The latest DRAM uses Samsung's 20-nanometer process, with the 4GB HMB2 package stacking 8-gigabit core dies on top of a buffer die. Each of the four dies contain 5,000 Through Silicon Via (TSV) holes. TSV is a packaging technology that cuts the DRAM chip into half the thinness of a piece of paper. Two chips are stacked vertically, and the holes of the two are lined up so that electricity can pass through them, and thereby boost performance.

Samsung said the technology boosts performance more than conventional wire-bonding packaging.

"By mass producing next-generation HBM2 DRAM, we can contribute much more to the rapid adoption of next-generation HPC systems by global IT companies," said Sewon Chun, senior vice president of Memory Marketing at Samsung, in a statement. "Also, in using our 3D memory technology here, we can more proactively cope with the multifaceted needs of global IT, while at the same time strengthening the foundation for future growth of the DRAM market."

Samsung also said its latest chip offers 256 GBps bandwidth, double that of the first-generation HBM DRAM.

The company said it will also begin producing an 8GB HBM2 DRAM in the first half of the year.

Samsung is the world's largest memory chip vendor and has enjoyed a huge boost in profit thanks to high demand in mobile and servers in recent years.

However, DRAM prices are falling as demand in mobile is hit by saturation. Lower-than-expected demand from servers due to the global recession has also risen as a risk.

"Lack of demand makes it hard to expect high growth. But limited increase in demand will ensure profits and avoid losses," said Park Jun-ho of KDB Daewoo Securities, in a note to clients. "Starting in the second half, supply and demand will be balanced."

Source: ZDNet.co.kr

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