HMCC Boosts Bandwidth of Hybrid Memory Cube to 480GB/s

HMC Consortium Reveals Hybrid Memory Cube 2.0 Spec

by Anton Shilov
03/03/2014 | 07:51 PM

The Hybrid Memory Cube Consortium (HMCC), the organization dedicated to the development and establishment of an industry-standard interface specification for the hybrid memory cube (HMC) technology, has announced the second version of the HMC specification. The new spec could boost performance of the hybrid memory cubes to whopping 480GB/s, which is more than enough for next-gen graphics cards and mobile devices.


HMC uses advanced through-silicon vias (TSVs) – vertical conduits that electrically connect a stack of individual chips – to combine high-performance logic with Micron's DRAM. Micron's HMC features a 2GB memory cube that is composed of a stack of four 4Gb DRAM die. The solution provides an unprecedented 160GB/s of memory bandwidth while using up to 70% less energy per bit than existing technologies, which dramatically lowers customers' total cost of ownership (TCO).

The new specification supports increased data rate speeds advancing short-reach (SR) performance from 10Gb/s, 12.5Gb/s, and 15Gb/s, up to 30Gb/s. The new specification also migrates the associated channel model from SR to VSR to align with existing industry nomenclature. The ultra short-reach (USR) definition also increases performance from 10Gb/s up to 15Gb/s.

The HMCs compliant with the second specification will be able to offer up to 480GB/s of bandwidth. Nearly half of a terabyte of bandwidth is an overkill even for advanced mobile devices. However, such memory devices could be used on next-generation network equipment, graphics cards and other non-portable devices that require significant memory bandwidth.

"The HMC Gen2 specification doubles the interface data rate, which enables system designers to more easily realize performance gains with next-generation 20nm and 14nm FPGAs and SoCs. Our early start in delivering evaluation boards and the demonstrated interoperability between Hybrid Memory Cube devices and FPGAs enables customers to immediately start evaluating and developing HMC-based, high-performance systems," said Patrick Dorsey, senior director of product marketing at Altera.