SK Hynix has ‘sold out’ of HBM DRAMs for 2024

SK Hynix has ‘sold out’ of HBM DRAMs for 2024

Business news |
By Peter Clarke

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SK Hynix has sold out of DRAMs in the stacked high-bandwidth memory (HBM) format that is used in AI processors for the data center for the whole of 2024, according to a senior executive.

“Our planned production volume of HBM this year has already sold out,” said the recently appointed vice president Kitae Kim, head of HBM sales & marketing, in an interview posted on SK Hynix’ website on February 21.

A lack of HBM3 and HBM3E format chips could put an effective limit on the growth of both the memory and logic portions of the semiconductor industry in 2024.

HBM is a DRAM-based product that achieves higher data processing speeds compared to single-plane DRAMs by vertically connecting multiple DRAMs with through-silicon via (TSV) and bumps. There are five generations of HBM, starting with the original HBM and followed by HBM2, HBM2E, HBM3, and HBM3E – an extended version of HBM3.

It should be noted that Kim referenced “planned production” so the company is no doubt scrambling to bring up additional capacity. However, the complexity of the stacked, leading-edge multi-die component makes such a move almost impossible in the short-term.

In 2022 the three leading suppliers of high bandwidth memory (HBM) were SK Hynix (50 percent), Samsung (40 percent) and Micron (10 percent), according to estimates from market analyst TrendForce. As the only manufacturer offering HBM3 in 2023 SK Hynix is expected to have markedly reinforced that lead.

Micron opted not to produce HBM3 format memories and to go straight to HBM3E which it has started to manufacture in volume (see Micron begins production of a ‘better’ HBM3E memory).

Samsung has announced a 12-high HBM3E DRAM with 36Gbyte capacity that has started sampling to customers and mass production is slated for 1H24. SK Hynix is also expected to begin mass production of HBM3E memories in 1H24.

“Although 2024 has just begun, we’ve already started preparing for 2025 to stay ahead of the market.”

Related links and articles:

News articles:

Micron begins production of a ‘better’ HBM3E memory

Samsung goes 12-high with HBM3E 36Gbyte DRAM

SK Hynix bouncing back on AI demand 

CES 2024: SK hynix to show leading memory products for AI

AI accelerator chips boost high bandwidth memory

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