Samsung is developing HBM4, expected to launch in 2025

In recent years, Artificial Intelligence (AI), High-Performance Computing (HPC), and PCs have consistently propelled the research and development of high-performance DRAM products. The market demand for HBM (High Bandwidth Memory) DRAM is burgeoning, prompting leading manufacturers to intensify their investments in this domain. The HBM market is predominantly dominated by three memory manufacturers: Samsung, SK Hynix, and Micron. According to data from industry analysts, SK Hynix commands a 50% market share, followed closely by Samsung with 40%, leaving Micron with the remaining 10%.

Recently, SangJoon Hwang, Samsung’s Executive Vice President and Head of DRAM Development for the Memory Business Division, disclosed in an official interview that Samsung is actively developing HBM4. This encompasses Non-Conductive Film (NCF) assembly technology optimized for high-temperature thermal characteristics and Hybrid Bonding (HCB) technology, anticipated for release in 2025. Earlier reports suggested significant changes in the next-generation HBM4 design, with memory stacks adopting a 2048-bit interface.

Samsung has already commenced mass production of HBM2E and HBM3 and has developed an HBM3E with a speed of 9.8 Gbps, soon offering samples to clients to enrich the HPC and AI ecosystems. Samsung harbors great expectations for its new HBM-PIM (processing-in-memory), wherein by integrating computational capabilities, the memory chip itself can execute operations akin to those of CPUs, GPUs, ASICs, or FPGAs. This not only addresses memory bandwidth bottlenecks but achieves performance enhancements up to 12-fold and quadruples energy efficiency in specific workloads, such as voice recognition.

Late last year, Samsung established the Advanced Packaging Team (AVP), offering sophisticated 2.5D/3D packaging solutions to augment its chip packaging business revenues. By leveraging this initiative, Samsung seeks to maximize synergies between business units, aiming to secure more orders for chip manufacturing. Reports suggest that Samsung once proposed to Nvidia to acquire chips manufactured by TSMC, subsequently purchase Samsung’s HBM3, and then utilize Samsung’s I-Cube 2.5D packaging for the final stages.