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AMD developers confirm Radeon R9 380X with HBM memory

Two employees of Advanced Micro Devices have revealed in their LinkedIn profiles that they had worked on AMD Radeon R9 380X graphics processing units with vertically-stacked high bandwidth memory (HBM). The engineers at AMD essentially confirmed that the company’s next-generation flagship graphics processor will use HBM memory and will carry the “R9 380X” model number.

Linglan Zhang, a principal member of technical staff at AMD, wrote in his profile at LinkedIn that he was involved in development of the “world’s first 300W 2.5D discrete GPU SOC using stacked die high bandwidth memory and silicon interposer.” The engineer also revealed that the Radeon R9 380X is the “largest in ‘King of the hill’ line of products.” Previously it was believed that this year’s flagship GPU from AMD carries the “R9 390X” model number. The employee of AMD has already deleted the information regarding the next-generation AMD Radeon.

Ilana Shternshain, ASIC physical design engineer from AMD, also revealed in her profile that she was responsible for “taping out state of the art products like Intel Pentium processor with MMX technology and AMD R9 290X and 380X GPUs.”


Previously it was reported that AMD’s next-generation flagship graphics solution would feature HBM DRAM. Back in Q4 2014 SK Hynix even revealed that it would start mass production of HBM memory in the first quarter of this year.

Each HBM IC [integrated circuit] stacks four DRAM dies with two 128-bit channels per die on a base logic die, which results into a memory device with a 1024-bit interface. Each channel is similar to a standard DDR interface, but is completely independent and therefore each channel within one stack and even within one die can operate at different frequency, feature different timings and so on. Each HBM 4Hi stack (4 high stack) package can provide 1GB – 32GB capacity and 128GB/s – 256GB/s memory bandwidth. The high-bandwidth memory chip uses 5mKGSD (molded known good stacked die) packaging that stacks four 2Gb dynamic random access memory dies on one base logic die.


AMD’s next-generation high-end Radeon R9 graphics processing unit is expected to feature 4096 stream processors/64 compute units, 256 texture units as well as 4096-bit memory interface to connect to four SK Hynix HBM devices. The GPU’s memory interface operates at 1.25Gb/s data-rate (1.25GHz effective DDR frequency) and delivers whopping 640GB/s memory bandwidth.

The LinkedIn findings were made by members of Beyond3D forums.

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KitGuru Says: It is interesting that AMD decided to use “R9 380X” model number for its flagship graphics solution. When AMD introduced its Radeon R9 200-series lineup, it rebranded older products to make the family complete; as a result, the Radeon HD 7970 became the Radeon R9 280X. If the new family's flagship carries the “R9 380X” model number, then it means that the Radeon R9 290X solution will not be renamed to something like the Radeon R9 380X. Potentially it means that AMD’s new GPU lineup will include a number of all-new chips and will not feature any re-branded products.

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