Samsung confirms next generation HBM4 memory is in fact Snowbolt — and reveals it plans to flood the market with precious AI memory amidst growing competition with SK Hynix and Micron

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Samsung has revealed it expects to triple its HBM chip production this year.

“Following the third-generation HBM2E and fourth-generation HBM3, which are already in mass production, we plan to produce the 12-layer fifth-generation HBM and 32 gigabit-based 128 GB DDR5 products in large quantities in the first half of the year,” SangJoon Hwang, EVP and Head of DRAM Product and Technology Team at Samsung said during a speech at Memcon 2024.

“With these products, we expect to enhance our presence in high-performance, high-capacity memory in the AI era.”

Snowbolt

Samsung plans a 2.9-fold increase in HBM chip production volume this year, up from the 2.5-fold projection previously announced at CES 2024. The company also shared a roadmap detailing its future HBM production, projecting a 13.8-fold surge in HBM shipments by 2026 compared to 2023.

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Samsung used Memcon 2024 to showcase its HBM3E 12H chip – the industry’s first 12-stack HBM3E DRAM – which is currently being sampled with customers. This will follow Micron’s 24GB 8H HBM3E into mass production in the coming months.

According to The Korea Economic Daily, Samsung also spoke of its plans for HBM4 and its sixth-generation HBM chip which the company has named “Snowbolt,”. Samsung says it intends to apply the buffer die, a control device, to the bottom layer of stacked memory for enhanced efficiency. It didn’t provide any information on when that future generation of HBM will see the light of day, however.

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Despite being the world’s largest memory chipmaker, Samsung has lagged behind archrival SK Hynix in the HBM chip segment, forcing it to invest heavily to boost production of what is a crucial component in the escalating AI race due to its superior processing speed.

SK Hynix isn’t going to make things easy for Samsung however. The world’s second largest memory chip maker recently announced plans to build the largest chip production facility ever seen at Yongin Semiconductor Cluster in Gyeonggi Province, South Korea.

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