Competitive Edge on Speed Is the Key to HBM Products’ Success

HBM (High-Bandwidth Memory) is a high-value-added DRAM product that provides high bandwidth and is used in computing systems that require high performance, such as supercomputers and AI accelerators. The development of such computing technologies led to the recent rise in machine-learning, which is based on the neural network model that has been studied since the 1980s. As the fastest DRAM, HBM plays a key role in overcoming the limitations of computing technology.

HBM’s high bandwidth requires a variety of elementary technologies and advanced design techniques. The development is further complicated by the fact that a logic die is stacked with 4 to 16 DRAM dies in a 3D structure. Due to this technological complexity, HBM is recognized as a flagship product that demonstrates a manufacturer’s technological prowess.

From the introduction of HBM1 in 2015 to the development of the world’s first HBM3 in October 2021, SK hynix has played a leading role in the HBM industry. The success of SK hynix’s HBM products lies in their characteristics, and, more specifically, design plays a significant role in ensuring this competitiveness. The HBM Design Team at SK hynix is the department responsible for implementing specifications into actual circuits as well as developing architectures and design technologies to ensure accurate functions, high performance, and low power characteristics. As a result of their comprehensive understanding of products, the team also plays a crucial role in the planning of future products as well as defining the specifications of these products. Additionally, they respond to customer feedback and analyzes defects.

The characteristics of a product are typically classified into three categories: power, performance, and area (PPA). This article looks at how to improve performance, or speed competitiveness, by employing superior design techniques. HBM, as previously mentioned, has a high bandwidth, which refers to the amount of data that can be transmitted in a specific unit of time. As it has the characteristic of having a high bandwidth, HBM is primarily used for applications requiring high-performance computing.

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