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[News Article] SK hynix may complete next-generation memory chips by 2026


SK hynix may complete next-generation memory chips by 2026 

BY LEE JAE-LIM, Korea JoongAng Daily - SK hynix floated the possibility of completing the development of its next-generation high bandwidth memory (HBM) chips, known as HBM4E, by 2026 at the earliest.


“HBM chips, until the fourth generation HBM3, have been developed every two years. But since the fifth generation, HBM3E, the cycle has been shortened to one year,” Kim Gwi-wook, head of SK hynix’s HBM advanced technology division, said Monday at the International Memory Workshop (IMW 2024) at Grand Walkerhill Seoul in Gwangjin District, eastern Seoul.


SK hynix has not yet made a production road map for HBM4E chips official, but Kim’s remark signaled that the next-generation chips could be completed by 2026.


The chipmaker is currently the sole HBM3 and HBM3E supplier to AI chip goliath Nvidia. It also became the first memory chipmaker to begin supplying eight-layered HBM3E to clients in March.


Samples of SK hynix's 12-layered models will be provided to clients this month for verification and are scheduled to begin mass production in the third quarter of this year.


Production of sixth-generation chips, or 12-layered HBM4, initially set to kick off in 2026, will instead begin next year.


“After this year, the HBM market is expected to continue to grow due to the increase in the number of parameters to enhance AI performance and the expansion of AI service providers,” SK hynix CEO Kwak Noh-jung said at a press event on May 2.


The Korean memory giant also announced last month that it had extended its partnership with Taiwan’s TSMC to collaborate on the development of HBM4.