Micron Technology's recent entry into the high-end memory market has stirred the competitive waters for established players Samsung and SK Hynix. As of July 1st, it has been reported that all three companies are actively producing the fifth generation of High Bandwidth Memory (HBM) products, known as HBM3E, marking a significant development in the memory technology sector.

SK Hynix is noted to be ahead of its competitors in both production volume and supply, having initiated large-scale production of HBM3E in the second quarter of this year. The company is also the first among the trio to pass NVIDIA's qualification tests and secure its position as a primary supplier. Industry estimates suggest that SK Hynix's HBM3E production has stabilized, with its operational profit reportedly doubling that of DRAM.

However, the company faces significant challenges in scaling up its HBM3E production capabilities. An insider familiar with the situation has indicated that NVIDIA is exerting pressure on SK Hynix to boost supply, given the nearly exhausted capacity due to the production of both HBM3E and its predecessor, HBM3.

Micron Technology, while making notable sales to NVIDIA—amounting to $100 million between March and May—also grapples with production hurdles. Public data from the company shows that despite HBM typically commanding a price two to three times higher than DRAM, Micron's operational profit from its HBM business does not match the robustness of its DRAM business, signaling that the HBM segment has yet to become fully profitable.

A semiconductor industry insider has stated, "Micron has announced plans to massively produce and supply HBM3E next year, thus making it unlikely to see a substantial increase in supply within this year. For NVIDIA, with the current shortage from SK Hynix, it is imperative to expedite the quality certification of Samsung's HBM3E to facilitate the sales of AI accelerators."

As the memory market continues to evolve, the competition between Samsung, SK Hynix, and Micron Technology is expected to intensify, with each company striving to secure its position in the high-end memory market segment. The industry will be closely watching the next moves of these tech giants as they navigate the challenges and opportunities presented by the HBM3E production.