SK hynix and TSMC Forge Alliance for Cutting-Edge HBM Technology


SK hynix Inc. and Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Co. Ltd (TSMC) have inked a memorandum of understanding (MoU) to jointly work on advancing next-generation HBM and improving the integration of logic and HBM via cutting-edge packaging technologies. Through this collaboration, the companies aim to advance the development of HBM4, the sixth iteration of the HBM series, with mass production expected to commence in 2026.

SK hynix has stated that partnering with the AI memory sector's global frontrunner, alongside TSMC, will drive further advancements in HBM technology. This collaboration is anticipated to facilitate significant strides in memory performance, leveraging the synergies of product design, foundry capabilities, and memory provision from all three entities involved.

The initial focus of the collaboration between the two companies will be to enhance the performance of the foundational die positioned at the bottom of the HBM package. HBM (High Bandwidth Memory) is constructed by stacking a primary DRAM die atop a foundational die incorporating TSV (through silicon via) technology. This arrangement vertically links a set number of layers within the DRAM stack to the primary die using TSVs to form an HBM package. The foundational die situated at the base is linked to the GPU, responsible for managing the HBM.

SK hynix has used a proprietary technology to make base dies up to HBM3E, but plans to adopt TSMC’s advanced logic process for HBM4’s base die so additional functionality can be packed into limited space. That also helps SK hynix produce customized HBM that meets a wide range of customer demand for performance and power efficiency. SK hynix and TSMC also agreed to collaborate to optimize the integration of SK hynix’s HBM and TSMC’s CoWoS (Chip on Wafer on Substrate) technology, while cooperating in responding to common customers’ requests related to HBM.

“We expect a strong partnership with TSMC to help accelerate our efforts for open collaboration with our customers and develop the industry’s best-performing HBM4”, said Justin Kim, President and the Head of AI Infra at SK hynix. “With this cooperation in place, we will strengthen our market leadership as the total AI memory provider further by beefing up competitiveness in the space of the custom memory platform”.

“TSMC and SK hynix have already established a strong partnership over the years. We’ve worked together in integrating the most advanced logic and state-of-the-art HBM in providing the world’s leading AI solutions”, said Dr. Kevin Zhang, Senior Vice President of TSMC’s Business Development and Overseas Operations Office and Deputy Co-Chief Operating Officer. “Looking ahead to the next-generation HBM4, we’re confident that we will continue to work closely in delivering the best-integrated solutions to unlock new AI innovations for our common customers”.

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