Samsung Electronics has confirmed naming its 5th generation HBM3E product “Shinebolt.” As Samsung speeds up the development and marketing of HBM3E, it is expected to closely trail the leader in this sector, SK hynix.
According to industry sources on Oct. 17, Samsung Electronics is sending Shinebolt prototypes, a product of HBM3E, to client companies for quality approval tests. The prototype stacks 24 gigabit (Gb) chips in 8 layers, and it is reportedly soon to finish the development of a 36 gigabyte (GB) product with 12 layers.
The Shinebolt’s maximum data transfer speed (bandwidth) is approximately 50% higher than HBM3, reaching 1.228 terabytes (TB). HBM is recognized as the next-generation DRAM amid the dawn of the Artificial Intelligence era. Samsung Electronics’ HBM development and production speed are somewhat behind SK hynix. However, Samsung, being relentless, is strategizing to regain the lead in advanced memory production.
Intense competition is anticipated in the bonding process, a key manufacturing step for HBM. Samsung has been consistent in using the thermal compression-non-conductive film (TC-NCF) method from the early stages of HBM production. It remains to be seen if they can surpass the efficiency of the advanced mass reflow-molded underfill (MR-MUF) process that SK hynix adopted starting from HBM3.
Samsung is also considering strategies to accelerate the development of a potentially game-changing “hybrid bonding” process for HBM. Lee Jung-bae, president of Samsung Electronics’ memory business, stated in an article titled Unleashing the Infinite Possibilities of Samsung Memory posted on the company’s newsroom, “We are currently in production of HBM3 and are smoothly developing the next-generation product, HBM3E. We will further expand to produce custom-made HBM for our clients.”