HomeWinBuzzer NewsNvidia's AI Accelerators Struggle with Samsung's HBM3 Chips

Nvidia’s AI Accelerators Struggle with Samsung’s HBM3 Chips

Samsung's HBM3 chips were tested for use inside Nvidia's AI accelerators, raising doubts about their performance due to heat and power.

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's HBM3 DRAM chips, designed for use in Nvidia's AI accelerators, have encountered performance issues during testing. The primary concerns revolve around excessive heat generation and high power consumption, which have raised doubts about their suitability for 's high-performance computing needs. HBM stands for High Bandwidth Memory, using a chip design that provides higher bandwidth than DDR4 or GDDR5 modules while using less power and in a substantially smaller form factor. This is achieved by stacking up to eight DRAM dies and an optional base die which can include buffer circuitry and test logic.

Heat and Power Consumption Concerns

The reported heat and power consumption problems are not isolated to the HBM3 chips alone. Samsung's HBM3E chips, which were showcased a few months ago, are also experiencing similar issues. These problems became evident when the results of Samsung's 8-layer and 12-layer HBM3E chips were released in April 2024.

In contrast, SK Hynix began supplying HBM3E chips to Nvidia in March 2024, positioning itself as a key player in the HBM market. SK Hynix is currently Nvidia's largest supplier of HBM chips, which are essential for the functioning of AI accelerators. Nvidia's dominance in the AI market, with an 80% share, makes its certification crucial for any HBM chip manufacturer.

Samsung's Optimization Efforts

Samsung has acknowledged the need for optimization in tandem with customer requirements. The company has been working closely with clients to address these issues and has been striving for over a year to pass Nvidia's stringent tests. Samsung's recent leadership changes, including the appointment of a former expert in DRAM and NAND flash development, underscore its commitment to resolving these challenges.

The certification from Nvidia is vital for Samsung's ambitions in the HBM market. The unresolved heat and power consumption issues have cast a shadow over Samsung's prospects. It remains uncertain whether these problems can be addressed promptly. Nvidia CEO Jensen Huang‘s endorsement of Samsung's HBM3E 12H (12-layer) memory chip at the GTX AI 2024 conference, where he wrote “Jensen Approved” on the chip, highlights the importance of this partnership.

Samsung's ability to overcome these challenges is not only critical for its business but also for the broader industry. Both AMD and Nvidia are keen for Samsung to resolve these issues to ensure a stable supply of HBM chips from multiple vendors, which would help keep prices competitive. Samsung is already supplying HBM chips to AMD, further emphasizing the need for reliable and efficient memory solutions.

Samsung aims to start mass production of HBM3E chips before the end of the second quarter of the year. The company's efforts to optimize its HBM chips in collaboration with customers reflect its determination to secure a foothold in the competitive AI hardware market. The outcome of these efforts will significantly impact the future landscape of AI accelerators and high-performance computing.

SourceReuters
Markus Kasanmascheff
Markus Kasanmascheff
Markus is the founder of WinBuzzer and has been playing with Windows and technology for more than 25 years. He is holding a Master´s degree in International Economics and previously worked as Lead Windows Expert for Softonic.com.

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