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2.5 D FPGA and HBM solution, a 14x speed improvement over DDR4 DRAM DIMM

Date: 11/09/2015
An FPGA with high bandwidth memory (HBM) is created for the demonstration purpose by eSilicon, Northwest Logic and SK Hynix. The demonstration device uses FPGA with Northwest Logic’s HBM Controller Core and FPGA-based HBM PHY and SK Hynix HBM devices.

The FPGA and HBM are packaged on a silicon interposer, basically a 2.5D semiconductor technology. HBM is a stacked memory array connected to an ASIC via a silicon/organic interposer. First-generation HBM feature eight channels of 128-bit data running at one Gbit/s/pin for a total system throughput of 128 Gbytes/s. Second-generation HBM devices double the throughput. HBM offers a 14 times higher throughput compared to a DDR4 DIMM running at 2,600 Mbits/pin. Along with the speed and power advantage, HBM also said to offer cost advantages over competing technologies.

“HBM and system-in-package technology hold great promise to break the power and performance bottlenecks designers are currently facing with regard to memory subsystems,” said Bill Isaacson, senior director, product marketing at eSilicon. “This joint effort with Northwest Logic and SK Hynix validates that HBM is ready to enter mainstream use.”

"Northwest Logic’s HBM Controller Core supports both Gen 2 (2 Gbit/s/pin) and Gen 1 (1 Gbit/s/pin). The core supports a range of user interfaces and operational modes include Gen 2 pseudo-channel support. As part of this demonstration, Northwest Logic created a complete FPGA design including the HBM Controller Core and FPGA PHY and memory test support. This design provided error-free writes and reads to the HBM device." stated in the release by eSilicon.

“We are excited to collaborate with eSilicon and SK Hynix to show a fully working HBM demonstration,” commented Brian Daellenbach, president of Northwest Logic, Inc. “We are seeing increasing interest in HBM applications. This demonstration shows that eSilicon, Northwest Logic and SK Hynix have the capabilities needed to enable a customer to implement an HBM ASIC.”

“HBM utilizes the latest advancement in DRAM packaging and through-silicon via technologies to enable system designers to extract the maximum value in terms of performance and power efficiency from the DRAM memory subsystem. SK Hynix is in the forefront of bringing the HBM device to the industry and anticipates adoption in multiple major market segments,” said Kevin Tran, senior manager of technical marketing at SK Hynix.