[News] HBM Craze Continues! SK Hynix Reports Sold Out for this Year, Next Year’s HBM Capacity Nearly Fully Booked

2024-05-02 Semiconductors editor

SK Hynix CEO Kwak Noh-Jung announced on May 2nd that the company’s HBM capacity for this year has already been fully sold out, and next year’s capacity is also nearly sold out. From a technological perspective, SK Hynix plans to provide samples of the world’s highest-performance 12-layer stacked HBM3e products in May this year and is preparing for mass production starting in the third quarter.

SK Hynix just held a press conference in South Korea, where they disclosed information regarding their AI memory technology capabilities, market status, and investment plans for future major production sites in Cheongju and Yongin, South Korea, as well as in the United States.

Kwak Noh-Jung pointed out that although AI is currently primarily centered around data centers, it is expected to rapidly expand to on-device AI applications in smartphones, PCs, cars, and other end devices in the future. Consequently, the demand for memory specialized for AI, characterized by “ultra-fast, high-capacity and low-power,” is expected to skyrocket.

Kwak Noh-Jung stated that SK Hynix possesses industry-leading technological capabilities in various product areas such as HBM, TSV-based high-capacity DRAM, and high-performance eSSD. In the future, SK Hynix looks to provide globally top-tier memory solutions tailored to customers’ needs through strategic partnerships with global collaborators.

Looking ahead to AI memory, SK Hynix President Justin Kim pointed out that as we enter the era of AI, the global volume of data generated is expected to grow from 15 Zettabytes (ZB) in 2014 to 660 ZB by 2030. Simultaneously, the proportion of revenue from AI memory is also expected to increase significantly. Memory technologies oriented towards AI, such as HBM and high-capacity DRAM modules, are projected to account for about 5% of the entire memory market in 2023 (in terms of revenue), with expectations to reach 61% by 2028.

Additionally, the company will advance collaboration with top-tier partners in the system semiconductor and foundry fields globally, aiming to timely develop and provide the best products.

Regarding SK Hynix’s packaging technology capabilities, the company highlighted its MR-MUF technology as one of its core packaging technologies. While there may be bottlenecks in high-layer stacking, SK Hynix emphasized that this is not the case in practice. The company has already begun mass production of 12-layer stacked HBM3 products using advanced MR-MUF technology.

Reducing the pressure on chip stacking to 6% has not only shortened process time but also increased production efficiency by up to 4 times while enhancing heat dissipation by 45%. Moreover, the latest MR-MUF technology from SK Hynix utilizes new protective materials, resulting in a 10% improvement in heat dissipation. Additionally, the advanced MR-MUF technology employs superior high-temperature/low-pressure methods for warpage control, making it the most suitable solution for high-layer stacking.

Furthermore, SK Hynix plans to adopt advanced MR-MUF technology in HBM4 to achieve 16-layer stacking and is actively researching hybrid bonding technology. Lastly, in terms of investments in the United States, SK Hynix has confirmed the construction of an advanced packaging production facility for AI memory in Indiana. This facility is scheduled to commence mass production of the next-generation HBM products in the second half of 2028.

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(Photo credit: SK Hynix)