Samsung compelled to emulate SK hynix’s approach to boost HBM3 supply for Nvidia’s requirements.

Samsung’s Attempt to Beat Dominant SK hynix in HBM Memory Market

Global memory chip manufacturer Samsung Electronics is seeking to challenge SK hynix’s dominant position in the High Bandwidth Memory (HBM) market. Samsung is reportedly preparing to adopt a technology used by its competitor in packaging HBM3 and HBM3E chips, with the aim of gaining Nvidia’s favor and increasing deliveries to this key client.

SK hynix’s Dominance in HBM Production

According to Reuters, SK hynix is poised to control over 80% of HBM3 and HBM3E memory deliveries for Nvidia’s needs this year alone. This dominance, even considering Micron’s capacity to deliver its own HBM3E chips for Nvidia H200 accelerators, causes significant concern for Samsung Electronics. While both SK hynix and Samsung have capabilities to produce 12-layer HBM3E stacks, only SK hynix has been employing the Mold Under Fill (MUF) technology since 2021 to create insulating layers between memory crystals in the stack. Until now, Samsung has been relying on the Non-Conductive Film (NCF) thermocompression, a method that results in poorer heat dissipation conditions.

Samsung’s Approach To Improve Chip Yield Rate

Furthermore, the yield rate of salable HBM3 chips from SK hynix’s assembly line is estimated to fluctuate between 60-70% by industry experts. Meanwhile, Samsung’s yield rate barely reaches 10-20%. This significant gap has catalyzed Samsung’s interest in enhancing its memory chip production technology. With this aim, Samsung is gradually transitioning towards the use of MUF technology for memory crystal isolation in the stack. Even though the necessary equipment and consumables have been purchased, the mass production of memory using MUF technology is only expected to commence next year. For the foreseeable future, Samsung will deploy a hybrid approach, blending NCF and MUF technologies in their facilities. Despite this, Samsung officially maintains its stance that the NCF technology remains the optimal solution for producing HBM3E memory chips.

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