SK hynix ships blazing fast HBM3E DRAM samples – but most customers have to wait
Everything in 2023 is about AI, which this silicon is said to speed
South Korean chipmaker SK hynix has shipped samples of HBM3E DRAM, claiming it should be able to process 1.15 terabytes of data in a second.
As described on our sister site Blocks and Files, HBM3E is the next generation of the High Bandwidth Memory (HBM) standard overseen by JEDEC. HBM matters because it is faster and uses less power than other forms of memory – such as Double Data Rate (DDR) or Graphics Double Data Rate (GDDR) memory.
Speed and power consumption matter more than ever during the world's current surge of interest in AI – which is why Nvidia recently promised to add HBM3E memory to a forthcoming version of its Grace Hopper superchip.
SK hynix's announcement of sample shipments describes the memory as "the highest-specification DRAM for AI applications currently available."
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We get it: nobody wants their AI to crawl along. It's vital to employ 2023's most-discussed tech before investors frown, or competitors pounce.
But SK hynix's announcement asks would-be-buyers to slow down – it will mass produce HBM3E "from the first half of next year." That could mean as late as June – ten months from now. The chipmaker also omitted mention of production volume, so this memory could be even scarcer than GPUs.
But it will be less hot to the touch than previous HBM kit. The silicon slinger claims that its heat dissipation is ten percent better thanks to "Advanced Mass Reflow Molded Underfill" – aka MR-MUF2, a packaging technology the Korean chip champ developed in-house.
One factoid that may produce warm feelings is that HBM3E is backwards compatible with HBM3 – so buyers who splash for the current generation of memory can buy now, safe in the knowledge they have an upgrade path.
SK hynix's announcement includes appreciative quotes from Nvidia, but does not explicitly state the GPU-maker is the customer testing the HBM3E samples.
Our sibling site Blocks and Files has more info on HBME3 and how it's built. ®