Samsung tests groundbreaking 36GB HBM3E 12H DRAM

As dense as DRAM gets.

Samsung 36GB HBM3E DRAM.

Samsung has announced an innovative 12-layer HBM3E memory chip boasting 50% higher capacity and performance. The brand also claims higher vertical density and thermal properties thanks to its Advanced TC NCF technology.

This new HBM generation aims to lead the memory market by offering the largest capacity yet of 36GB. Fuelled by a growing AI segment, HBM3E 12H is supposedly 50% faster than its predecessor, HBM3 8H. To be more specific, the brand talks about a 1,280GB/s bandwidth. For reference, the beastly RTX 4090 needs 12 GDDR6X chips to reach 1,008GB/s bandwidth.

These performance and capacity improvements are possible thanks to Samsung’s Advanced Thermal Compression Non-Conductive Film (Advanced TC NCF) technology. Now, it can stack 12 layers while keeping the same height specification as 8-layer HBM3 chips. To put it simply, Samsung’s advanced TC NCF uses various bump sizes. There are small ones for signalling and large ones for heat dissipation, improving both the chip’s capabilities and product yield.

By loweing NCF material thickness, Samsung has achieved the industry’s smallest gap between chips at 7µm (micrometres). The brand has also eliminated voids between these layers. These efforts enhance the vertical density by over 20% compared to its HBM3 8H.

HBM chips are quite popular thanks to their role in powering generative AI systems like ChatGPT. Just look at HPC/server GPUs like Nvidia’s A100 and H100. In fact, the Green Team got so much demand for AI chips that its market cap recently surpassed Google’s Alphabet. Seriously, it registered a whopping 206% increase in sales revenue in Q3 2023.

“The industry’s AI service providers are increasingly requiring HBM with higher capacity, and our new HBM3E 12H product has been designed to answer that need,” said Yongcheol Bae, Executive Vice President of Memory Product Planning at Samsung Electronics. “This new memory solution forms part of our drive toward developing core technologies for high-stack HBM and providing technological leadership for the high-capacity HBM market in the AI era.”

Samsung has already begun sampling HBM3E 12H to customers, with mass production scheduled for the first half of this year.