High Bandwidth Memory (HBM2) Interface FPGA IP User Guide

ID 683189
Date 3/29/2024
Document Table of Contents

3.3.1. Stratix® 10 HBM2 Controller Details

This topic explains some of the high level HBM2 controller features.

HBM2 burst transactions

The HBM2 controller supports only the Pseudo Channel mode of accessing the HBM2 device; consequently, it can only support BL4 transactions to the DRAM. For improving efficiency, it supports the pseudo-BL8 mode, which helps to provide two back-to-back BL4 data using a given start address, similar to a BL8 transaction.

Each BL4 transaction corresponds to 4*64 bits or 32 bytes and a BL8 transaction corresponds to 64 bytes per Pseudo Channel. You can select the burst transaction mode (32 B vs 64B) through the parameter editor.

User interface vs HBM2 Interface Frequency

The user interface runs at a frequency lower than the HBM2 interface; the maximum interface frequency depends on the chosen device speed grade and the FPGA core logic frequency. The rate-matching FIFOs within the UIB subsystem handle the data transfer between the two clock domains.

Command Priority

You can set command priority for a write or read command request through the AXI interface, through the qos signal in the AXI write address channel, or in the AXI read address channel. The HBM2 controller supports normal and high priority levels. The system executes commands with the same priority level in a round-robin scheme.

Starvation limit

The controller tracks how long each command waits and leaves no command unserviced in the command queue for a long period of time. The controller ensures that it serves every command efficiently.

Command scheduling

The HBM2 controller schedules the incoming commands to achieve maximum efficiency at the HBM2 interface. The HBM2 controller also follows the AXI ordering model of the AXI4 protocol specification.

Data re-ordering

The controller can reorder read data to match the order of the read requests.

Address ordering

The HBM2 controller supports different address ordering schemes that you can select for best efficiency given your use case. The chosen addressing scheme determines the order of address configurations in the AXI write and read address buses, including row address, column address, bank address, and stack ID (applicable only to the 8H devices). The HBM2 controller remaps the logical address of the command to physical memory address.

Thermal Control

The HBM2 controller uses the TEMP and CATTRIP outputs from the HBM2 device to manage temperature variations in the HBM2 interface.

  • Temperature compensated refresh (TEMP): The HBM2 DRAM provides temperature compensated refresh information to the controller through the TEMP[2:0] pins, which defines the proper refresh rate that the DRAM expects to maintain data integrity. Absolute temperature values for each encoding are vendor-specific. The encoding on the TEMP[2:0] pins reflects the required refresh rate for the hottest device in the stack. The TEMP data updates when the temperature exceeds vendor-specified threshold levels appropriate for each refresh rate.
  • Catastrophic temperature sensor (CATTRIP): The CATTRIP sensor detects whether the junction temperature of any die in the stack exceeds the catastrophic trip threshold value CATTEMP. The device vendor programs the CATTEMP to a value less than the temperature at which permanent damage to the HBM stack would occur. The CATTEMP value is also the Absolute Max Junction temperature value as specified in the Stratix® 10 data sheet for the family of devices that include the HBM2 DRAM. You can find the Stratix® 10 data sheet at the following location: https://www.intel.com/content/dam/www/programmable/us/en/pdfs/literature/hb/stratix-10/s10_datasheet.pdf.

    If a junction temperature anywhere in the stack exceeds the CATTEMP value, the HBM stack drives the external CATTRIP pin to 1, indicating that catastrophic damage may occur. When the CATTRIP pin is at 1, the controller stops all traffic to HBM and stalls indefinitely. To resolve the overheating situation and return the CATTRIP value to 0, remove power from the device and allow sufficient time for the device to cool before again applying power.

  • Thermal throttling: Thermal throttling is a controller safety feature that helps control thermal runaway if the HBM2 die overheats, preventing a catastrophic failure. You can specify the HBM2 device junction temperature at which the controller begins to throttle input commands, and the throttle ratio that determines the throttle frequency. The controller deasserts the AXI ready signals (awready, wready and arready) when it is actively throttling the input commands and data.

Refresh requests

The HBM2 controller handles HBM2 memory refresh requirements and issues refresh requests at the optimal time, as specified by the JEDEC specification of the HBM2 DRAM. The controller automatically controls refresh rates based on the temperature setting of the memory through the TEMP vector that the memory provides. You can select the HBM2 controller refresh policy, based on the frequency of refresh requests. You can choose to issue refresh commands directly, through the sideband APB interface.

Precharge policy

The HBM2 controller issues precharge commands to the HBM2 memory based on the write/read transaction address. In addition, you can issue an auto-precharge command together with a write and read command, through the AXI write address port and AXI read address port.

There are two auto-precharge modes:

  • HINT – You can issue the auto-precharge request. The controller then decides when to issue the precharge command.
  • FORCED – You provide auto-precharge requests through the AXI interface and the precharge request executes.

Power down enable

To conserve power, the HBM2 controller can enter power-down mode when the bus is idle for a long time. You can select this option if required.


The HBM2 controller supports ECC. The ECC scheme implemented is single-bit error correction with double-bit error detection, with 64-bits of data and 8-bits of ECC code (also known as the syndrome).

HBM2 Controller features enabled by default

The HBM2 controller enables the following features by default:

  • DBI – The DBI option supports both write and read DBI, and optimizes SI/power consumption by restricting signal switching on the HBM2 DQ bus.
  • Parity – Supports command/address parity and DQ parity.