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Samsung Refutes Reports of HBM Chips Failing Nvidia Test

South Korean tech giant Samsung Electronics Co. Ltd. refuted on Friday reports that its latest high-bandwidth memory chips (HBM) could not pass the testing process of US chipmaker Nvidia Corp.

The company said the assessment of the HBM3 and HBM3E chips, vital for the semiconductor giant’s artificial intelligence (AI) processors, was moving along smoothly with global clients.

They have also performed several tests to ensure the chips’ quality and performance.

The statement came after the world’s largest memory chipmaker was reported earlier in the day to have failed Nvidia’s qualification tests for the HBM3 and HBM3E chips, citing heat and power consumption issues.

Samsung stated that they were working with clients to improve the specifications of the fourth- and fifth-generation memory chips, as they needed modifications not seen on legacy dynamic random-access memory (DRAM) chips.

Samsung’s Strong Catch-Up Play in the HBM Race

The HBM space is a new field for chipmakers amid an AI period in which the Suwon-si-based Samsung faces intense competition.

Its domestic rival, SK hynix Inc., was quick to gain the upper hand and solidify its position in the industry. The firm is currently the only supplier of HBM3 and HBM3E chips to Nvidia, which has an 80% share in the global graphics processing unit (GPU) semiconductor market.

SK hynix has started shipping the HBM3E chips to the Silicon Valley-based company, while Samsung is still under verification.

In April, the firm announced that it would begin mass production of its 12-layered HBM3E chips in the second quarter in a bid to secure an early lead in the premium DRAM market.

Earlier reports suggested that the company may be on track to become Nvidia’s sole supplier of such an HBM chip.

Industry sources said Samsung is faster than rivals in building the HBM3E stacked with 12 layers of DRAM, and it is likely to be the only supplier of the chip to the AI darling Nvidia by September 2024.

The company is expected to ship HBM3E chips in the second half of this year, and along with the HBM3, they are forecast to represent 18% of Samsung’s DRAM sales in the fourth quarter.

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