HBM3 issuers at Samsung -- Can't hit Nvidia thermal, power requirements

Samsung Electronics’ (OTCPK:SSNLF) new high bandwidth memory, or HBM, chips have not yet cleared Nvidia’s (NVDA) evaluation for use in the U.S. company’s AI processors due to heat and power consumption issues, Reuters reported, citing people with knowledge of the matter.

The issues lie with the South Korean company’s HBM3 chips, which are the fourth-generation HBM standard currently usually used in graphics processing units, or GPUs, for AI, and the fifth-generation HBM3E chips, which the company and its competitors will launch in the market this year, the report added.

Samsung noted that HBM is a customized memory product that needs “optimization processes in tandem with customers’ needs,” adding that the company is in the process of optimizing its products via close collaboration with customers, the tech giant said in a statement to the news agency.

HBM is a type of dynamic random access memory, or DRAM, in which chips are vertically place to save space and curb power consumption. It helps in the processing of huge amounts of data produced by AI applications.

Passing tests by Nvidia - which holds about 80% of the global GPU market for AI applications - is seen as vital for future growth for HBM makers.

The market for HBM is led by South Korean companies SK Hynix and Samsung and, to a lesser extent, by Micron Technology (MU).

Since last year, Samsung has been trying to pass Nvidia’s evaluation for HBM3 and HBM3E. The results of a recent failed test for Samsung’s 8-layer and 12-layer HBM3E chips had come in April, the report added.

It was not immediately clear if the issues can be easily fixed, but failure to meet Nvidia’s needs has made industry and investors concerned that Samsung could lag behind competitors SK Hynix and Micron, according to the report.

I’m wondering whether NVidia will wind up capacity-limited on HBM3 and whether AMD, who apparently find Samsung’s parts usable, will get some breathing room as a result. Nvidia can surely throw money at any other supplier that can hit their requiorements (SK Hynix is I think in for a wild ride, I wanted to invest but you needed an actual brokerage account in Korea, which I didn’t have time to set up).


1 Like