High-bandwidth memory (HBM) is a JEDEC-defined standard, dynamic random access memory (DRAM) technology that uses through-silicon vias (TSVs) to interconnect stacked DRAM die. In its first implementation, it is being integrated with a system-on-chip (SoC) logic die using 2.5D silicon interposer technology. In June 2015, AMD introduced its Fiji processor, the first HBM 2.5D design, which comprises a graphics processor unit (GPU) connected with four HBM stacks using a silicon-based interconnect.

The Fiji processor is powering AMD’s latest generation of Radeon Fury graphics cards for high-performance gaming. This event was the turning point for HBM, opening the floodgates for system integrators to adopt HBM as a memory solution for high-bandwidth, low-power products. In addition to graphics, HBM is being used in high-performance computing (HPC), data center and networking applications.

SK hynix Inc., Amkor Technology, Inc., eSilicon Corporation, Northwest Logic and Avery Design Systems have joined forces to offer a complete HBM supply chain solution that is delivering and supporting customer 2.5D HBM designs now. In this open supply chain collaboration,SK hynix provides the HBM stack. eSilicon is the application-specific integrated circuit (ASIC) vendor for the SoC, providing the HBM physical interfaces (PHYs) and associated services, and is also the overall HBM module integrator. Northwest Logic provides the HBM controller intellectual property (IP) for the SoC. Avery Design Systems provides the HBM verification IP. Amkor integrates the SoC, HBM stack and interposer into a 2.5D assembly, and tests, packages and ships it to the customer (Figure 1).

2.5D HBM Design

The five companies recently sponsored a seminar to promote their efforts and explain how this supply chain works. Attendee feedback was very positive and included the following comments:

    • Bringing key players for interposer-based designs into one room was strategic and helpful.
    • It was very informative. I had a lot of questions answered

    •  It was a good assembly of design and manufacturing elements.

    •  I learned a lot that I didn’t know.

    • It’s good to hear that TSVs are ready for HBM. 

This white paper explains HBM’s value proposition, and how these five companies make it easy for system and integrated circuit (IC) designers to access the many benefits this technology offers. Download the white paper here. You can also view the webinar here.


Kevin Tran, SK hynix Inc; Paul Silvestri, Amkor Technology, Inc.; Bill Isaacson, eSilicon Corporation; Brian Daellenbach, Northwest Logic; Chris Browy, Avery Design Systems.

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