UPDATED. 2024-04-11 10:05 (목)
Samsung introduces HBM3E amid fierce competition over HBM dominance
Samsung introduces HBM3E amid fierce competition over HBM dominance
  • Roh Tae Min
  • 승인 2024.03.04 07:28
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Tech giant showcases 12-stack HBM against Micron’s 8-stack
Image: Samsung
Image: Samsung

Samsung on Tuesday unveiled its Gen 5 HBM, HBM3E, which sports 12 stacks of DRAM modules compared to 8 offered by rival Micron's which was announced hours prior and has started mass production.

The South Korean tech giant’s announcement indicates that the competition over the dominance of HMB, or high bandwidth memory, market between Samsung, SK Hynix, and Micron will be fierce this year, propelled by demand from AI and recovery of the global memory market this year.

Samsung said it has successfully developed its 12-stack HBM3E and start production within the first half of the year. The company didn’t reveal its customers.

The 12-stack HBM3E, or HBM3E 12H, offers 1,280GB bandwidth per second and 36GB in capacity, up 50% from HBM3 8H, Samsung said.

Despite having 12 stacks, the new HBM also has the same height as its 8-stack counterparts thanks to the use of an advanced thermal compression non-conductive film, which protects the chip from warpage, the South Korean tech giant said.

Meanwhile, Micron announced that it has started the production of its own Gen 5 HBM.

The US chip giant’s HBM3E has 8 stacks and offers 24GB in capacity and will be used in Nvidia’s H200 chip launching in the second quarter, the company said. Micron claimed its chip used 30% less power compared to rival’s products.

The company said it used 1b nanometer (nm) DRAM as the stacks and connected eight of them using through silicon via (TSV). Like Samsung’s, its chip also uses thermal compression non-conductive film. Micron also said that it plans to provide a sample of the follow-up 12-stack HBM3E next month to its customers.

Samsung and Micron’s incursion into the HBM market will likely be unwelcome news to SK Hynix, which sources said has been the sole vendor of HBM3 to chip giant Nvidia.

However, sources said Micron is entering the HBM3E sector without experience of producing HBM3 chips so it will face difficulty in production.

Samsung was also facing yield rate issues in its HBM3E production, so it remains to be seen how much output it can achieve to meet Nvidia’s demands, they added.

SK Hynix also differs from the two companies in using mass reflow molded underfill to stack the DRAM modules instead of film. SK Hynix has also started mass production of HBM3E.

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