New AI memory architecture

Twice the performance, 70% less power consumption

19. Februar 2021, 09:18 Uhr   |  Heinz Arnold

Twice the performance, 70% less power consumption
© Samsung

Samsung has equipped the HBM-PIM with a dedicated compute unit to dramatically reduce data traffic between the processor and memory.

Samsung has integrated AI into High Bandwidth Memory for the first time, doubling system performance and reducing power consumption by 70 percent.

Samsung is hailing the new HBM memory, which engineers combined with a processing-in-memory (PIM) architecture and AI, as a "breakthrough." AI brings powerful computing power to high bandwidth memory (HBM) to accelerate data processing in large data centers, high performance computing (HPC) and AI-powered mobile devices.

Samsung will present details of the new HBM PIM in a paper at the International Solid-State Circuits Virtual Conference (ISSCC).

"This is the world's first programmable HBM-PIM designed specifically for use in the AI environment. This includes HPC, training and inference," said Kwangil Park, senior vice president of memory product planning at Samsung Electronics. "We will work closely with AI system manufacturers to develop new HBM types based on the PIM architecture based on this breakthrough."

In computers based on the von Neumann architecture that is predominantly used today, the processor and memory operate separately. Therefore, data must constantly be shifted back and forth between the processor and memory. This has proven to be a crucial bottleneck because of the ever-increasing amounts of data.

In contrast, the new HBM PIM brings computing power directly to where the data is stored: This is because a DRAM-optimized AI unit is integrated in each memory bank, meaning that the data does not have to be sent to the processor first. This enables parallel processing and reduces the number of data to be exchanged. The result is a substantial increase in performance and a significant reduction in power consumption. Built into Samsung's HBM2 Aquabolt, the HBM-PIM more than doubles system performance and reduces power consumption by more than 70 percent. The HBM-PIM is easily interchangeable with existing memory because no hardware or software changes are required.  

Samsung is currently testing the HBM-PIM in leading AI solution partners' AI accelerators. Validations are expected to be completed in the first half of this year. 

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