SK Hynix is not the first company in the world to develop an HBM2E DRAM product—that distinction belongs to Samsung, which announced HBM2E DRAM of its own back in May—but the company is retaining bragging rights nonetheless. That's because SK Hynix's new HBM2E DRAM sports the industry's highest bandwidth.
According to SK Hynix, its new HBM2E product can top 460 gigabytes per second (GB/s), based on 3.6 gigabits per second (Gbps) performance per pin with 1,024 data I/Os. That is a 50 percent jump over HBM2. It also scales to twice the capacity, paving the way for 16GB solutions by way of stacking eight 16Gb chips in a dense package.
SK Hynix sees its HBM2E DRAM being used in a variety of products, including high-end GPUs. However, do not hold your breath waiting for this to materialize on a consumer card. While technically possible, the value proposition is simply higher with GDDR memory chips. AMD has dabbled with HBM in some of its consumer GPUs, but its newest generation Radeon RX 5700 XT and Radeon RX 5700 cards both use GDDR6 memory chips.
A more likely destination for HBM2E in the GPU space is the professional sector. While NVIDIA has steered clear of HBM chips in its consumer cards, its Quadro GV100 introduced last year packs 32GB of HBM2. SK Hynix alludes to this, noting that other area "optimal" product categories for HBM2E include supercomputers, machine learning, and artificial intelligence systems.
"Unlike commodity DRAM products which take on module package forms and mounted on system boards, HBM chip is interconnected closely to processors such as GPUs and logic chips, distanced only a few ㎛ units apart, which allows even faster data transfer," SK Hynix says.
SK Hynix is planning to mass produce it HBM2E DRAM in 2020, "when the HBM2E market is expected to open up."