Samsung denies failing Nvidia tests for HBM chips – ZDNET

Samsung has just denied reports that its high-bandwidth (HBM) chips failed Nvidia’s tests. The reason is problems with heat and energy consumption.

The South Korean tech giant responded article from Reuters, citing anonymous sources who claimed that Samsung failed Nvidia’s tests for its HBM3E chips in April. A necessary and crucial step to enter the AI ​​processor market. The South Korean tech giant has been testing its HBM3 and HBM3E chips with Nvidia since last year, according to the article.

Samsung, without naming Nvidia, said in a statement that its testing with various global partners to supply HBM is “progressing smoothly.” The company “conducts various tests to strictly verify the quality and performance of HBM chips,” Samsung added.

HBM, required for H100, B100 and H200 models from Nvidia

The HBM3E chip is the latest generation of the HBM chip, a chip that vertically stacks multiple DRAMs to reduce space and power consumption while providing high bandwidth to handle large amounts of data.

This is why this chip is considered essential for AI processors such as Nvidia’s H100, B100 and H200.

HBM chips are the equivalent of double-rate DRAM (DDR) memories for PC CPUs and low-power double-rate DRAM (LPDDR) memories for smartphone application processors.

Samsung has fired its chip manager

Article from Reuters it comes at a delicate time for Samsung. The world’s largest memory manufacturer fell behind domestic rival SK Hynix in the supply of HBM chips to a market currently dominated by Nvidia.

In the chip industry, it is not uncommon for customer quality testing to take months. This is also why development of a new chip usually starts two years before commercial launch. It is also not uncommon for there to be back and forth with the customer due to differing test results.

A few days ago though The South Korean tech giant announced it will replace the head of its chip division to overcome what it called a “semiconductor crisis.”

Nvidia at the highest level

This highly unusual move can be seen as a response to Samsung’s inability to gain significant market share in the HBM segment. In other words, the allegations of testing failures come at a critical time when Samsung appears very vulnerable.

Samsung cannot do without the American GPU manufacturer. On Wednesday, Nvidia reported a 260% year-over-year increase in revenue in its most recent fiscal quarter.

The reason? High demand for its AI processors from cloud service providers. According to analyst firm TrendForce, Nvidia has an 80% share of the AI ​​processor market.

SK Hynix, exclusive supplier of HBM for Nvidia

SK Hynix is ​​currently the de facto exclusive HBM supplier for Nvidia. And the company has a significant head start.

The South Korean memory maker, which has already approved its HBM3E, said earlier this month that its HBM chip production capacity for this year is already exhausted.

While Samsung is a leader in other products such as smartphones and televisions, memory chips are considered the backbone of the industry. The coming months will tell us if the company can maintain its leadership position in the AI ​​era.

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