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SK Hynix and TSMC Team Up for HBM4 Development

SK hynix and TSMC announced early on Friday that they had signed a memorandum of understanding to collaborate on developing the next-generation HBM4 memory and advanced packaging technology. The initiative is designed to speed up the adoption of HBM4 memory and solidify SK hynix’s and TSMC’s leading positions in high-bandwidth memory and advanced processor applications.

The primary focus of SK hynix’s and TSMC’s initial efforts will be to enhance the performance of the HBM4 stack’s base die, which (if we put it very simply) acts like an ultra-wide interface between memory devices and host processors. With HBM4, SK hynix plans to use one of TSMC’s advanced logic process technologies to build base dies to pack additional features and I/O pins within the confines of existing spatial constraints. 

This collaborative approach also enables SK hynix to customize HBM solutions to satisfy diverse customer performance and energy efficiency requirements. HBM has been touting custom HBM solutions for a while, and teaming up with TSMC will undoubtedly help with this.

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.

Furthermore, the collaboration extends to optimizing the integration of SK hynix’s HBM with TSMC’s CoWoS advanced packaging technology. CoWoS is among the most popular specialized 2.5D packaging process technologies for integrating logic chips and stacked HBM into a unified module.

For now, it is expected that HBM4 memory will be integrated with logic processors using direct bonding. However, some of TSMC’s customers might prefer to use an ultra-advanced version of CoWoS to integrate HBM4 with their processors.

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.

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