Demand for high-performance processors for AI training is skyrocketing, and consequently so is the demand for the components that go into these processors. So much so that SK hynix this week is very publicly announcing that the company's high-bandwidth memory (HBM) production capacity has already sold out for the rest of 2024, and even most of 2025 has already sold out as well.

SK hynix currently produces various types of HBM memory for customers like Amazon, AMD, Facebook, Google (Broadcom), Intel, Microsoft, and, of course, NVIDIA. The latter is an especially prolific consumer of HBM3 and HBM3E memory for its H100/H200/GH200 accelerators, as NVIDIA is also working to fill what remains an insatiable (and unmet) demand for its accelerators.

As a result, HBM memory orders, which are already placed months in advance, are now backlogging well into 2025 as chip vendors look to secure supplies of the memory stacks critical to their success.

This has made SK hynix the secnd HBM memory vendor in recent months to announce that they've sold out into 2025, following an earlier announcement from Micron regarding its HBM3E production. But of the two announcements, SK hynix's is arguably the most significant yet, as the South Korean firm's HBM production capacity is far greater than Micron's. So while things were merely "interesting" with the smallest of the Big Three memory manufacturers being sold out into 2025, things are taking a more concerning (and constrained) outlook now that SK hynix is as well.

SK hynix currently controls roughly 46% - 49% of HBM market, and its share is not expected to drop significantly in 2025, according to market tracking firm TrendForce. By contrast, Micron's share on HBM memory market is between 4% and 6%. Since HBM supply of both companies is sold out through the most of 2025, we're likely looking at a scenario where over 50% of the industry's total HBM3/HBM3E supply for the coming quarters is already sold out.

This leaves Samsung as the only member of the group not to comment on HBM demand so far. Though with memory being a highly fungible commodity product, it would be surprising if Samsung wasn't facing similar demand. And, ultimately, all of this is pointing towards the indusry entering an HBM3 memory shortage.

Separately, SK hynix said that it is sampling 12-Hi 36GB HBM3E stacks with customers and will begin volume shipments in the third quarter.

Source: SK Hynix Press Release



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  • PeachNCream - Friday, May 3, 2024 - link

    I'd like to be the first to congratulate SK Hynix (well, first outside of the company's employees patting themselves on the back by pushing out a press release about this) for doing what the company is supposed to do - produce wares and sell them. Let's give them a cookie, I guess. Reply
  • meacupla - Friday, May 3, 2024 - link

    I'd say they're not doing their job to the fullest.
    When you are one of the primary producers, being backlogged for a year shows you have poor market foresight.

    They should have seen nvidia stocks spiking due to AI demand, and ramped up production back then.
  • ballsystemlord - Friday, May 3, 2024 - link

    Considering these companies, not too long ago, said that they were cutting back on DDR production due to weak demand, I wonder if they devoted the resources to HBM production. Reply
  • stephenbrooks - Sunday, May 5, 2024 - link

    I remember reading the old Register and Inquirer sites for a while, they kept saying that for some reason the RAM industry has a huge boom-and-bust cycle. A shortage now becomes a surplus 18 months later, etc. Reply
  • Adramtech - Saturday, May 4, 2024 - link

    This backlog so to speak is for systems that are still in the planning stages. Reply
  • timecop1818 - Sunday, May 5, 2024 - link

    hopefully those ai grifters will go out of business by the time their ram is delivered Reply

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