Published in PC Hardware

Samsung's chip flip

by on13 March 2024

A tale of tech rivalry and AI ambition

Samsung is eyeing a chip-making method with rival SK Hynix's paws all over it.

If the rumours are true, Samsung looks set to swallow its pride and play catch-up in the high-stakes race to produce fancy chips for AI using a method championed by its rival, SK Hynix.

Let’s be clear about this: Samsung vehemently denies those rumours, saying that “Rumours that Samsung will apply MR-MUF to its HBM production are not true," which is about as clear as you can get.

However, the tech press is buzzing about these high-bandwidth memory (HBM) chips, which are hotter than a summer in Ibiza, thanks to the AI craze. But while SK Hynix and Micron have been cosying up with Nvidia, Samsung has been left out in the cold.

Samsung has been clinging to this non-conductive film (NCF) tech like a stubborn mule, and it's been giving them grief. But now, they're switching gears and gearing up to give the mass reflow moulded underfill (MR-MUF) method a whirl—a move that's got the tech world gossiping.

However, Samsung's playing it cool, claiming its NCF tech is top-notch for its shiny new HBM3E chips. But whispers say it's already chatting up Japan's Nagase to get its hands on some MUF magic. Still, don't hold your breath—mass production's not on the cards until next year at the earliest.

The stakes are high, with the HBM chip market set to double to a whopping €8.3 billion this year. And with Samsung's HBM3 chips only hitting a 10-20 per cent yield, compared to SK Hynix's 60-70 per cent, they've got some serious ground to make up.

Samsung tells us that it was “refuting estimated production yields and said it had secured a "stable yield rate." However, it did not go into detail.



Last modified on 14 March 2024
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