Samsung Electronics sets up development team for HBM chips


SEOUL, July 4 (Yonhap) — Samsung Electronics Co., the world’s largest memory chipmaker, has newly set up a unit dedicated to developing high bandwidth memory (HBM) in a bid to regain the leadership in the artificial intelligence semiconductor market, industry sources said Thursday.

The new HBM development team, part of an organizational overhaul of the company’s semiconductor division, aims to consolidate R&D functions and strengthen research efforts, according to the sources.

Vice President Sohn Young-soo, an expert in designing high-performance DRAM, will head the team.

This reorganization is the first since Vice Chairman Jun Young-hyun took office in late May.

Samsung Electronics Co.'s facilities in Hwaseong, south of Seoul, are seen in this photo provided by the company. (PHOTO NOT FOR SALE) (Yonhap)

Samsung Electronics Co.’s facilities in Hwaseong, south of Seoul, are seen in this photo provided by the company. (PHOTO NOT FOR SALE) (Yonhap)

The HBM team will focus on R&D for next-generation HBM4 products, as well as HBM3 and HBM3E.

This move underscores the Korean tech giant’s commitment to enhancing its R&D structure for HBM, a high-performance DRAM in high demand, particularly for Nvidia’s graphics processing units, which are key for AI computing.

Samsung Electronics has developed industry-leading 12-layer HBM3E products, which are going through Nvidia’s quality tests.

But the market has been led by its rival SK hynix Inc. with its latest HBM3E.

To bolster its position, Samsung Electronics also reorganized its advanced packaging team and equipment technology lab to enhance its overall technology competitiveness.

The latest changes come amid efforts to improve Samsung’s competitiveness in the booming HBM market.

The company recently replaced the head of its semiconductor business with Jun and began recruiting for over 800 positions, including roles in developing and verifying controllers for next-generation DRAM solutions.

Samsung Electronics’ chip business has struggled with sluggish sales for the past few years, logging an operating loss of over 15 trillion won (US$11 billion) last year. It experienced five consecutive quarters of operating losses, from the fourth quarter of 2022 to the fourth quarter of 2023.

In the first quarter of 2024, however, the chip business rebounded to achieve an operating profit of 1.91 trillion won with 23.1 trillion won in sales, thanks to rising memory chip prices.

Samsung Electronics will release its earnings guidance for the second quarter Friday.


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