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July 17, 2024

SK, TSMC chiefs agree to boost collaboration on AI chips

PUBLISHED : June 07, 2024 - 17:39

UPDATED : June 07, 2024 - 17:44

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SK Group Chairman Chey Tae-won (left) shakes hands with TSMC Chairman C.C. Wei at TSMC`s headquarters in Taipei, Taiwan on Thursday. (SK Supex Council)

SK Chairman Chey Tae-won and TSMC Chairman C.C. Wei agreed to boost collaboration on the development of advanced artificial intelligence chips, including the High Bandwidth Memory chips high in demand, on Thursday.

Chey traveled to Taiwan to meet with Wei and other IT leaders in the country, as part of the effort to strengthen SK's network and gain a competitive edge in the burgeoning global AI market.

“Together, let’s open the door to the era of artificial intelligence that benefits humans,” Chey told Wei.

At the meeting, SK hynix President Kwak Noh-jung as also present.

Taiwan-based contract chip supplier TSMC produces about 92 percent of the world's advanced chips, whereas SK hynix is the world's second-largest memory chipmaker.

In April, SK hynix agreed to work together with TSMC to develop HBM4, the sixth-generation model of the advanced memory chip, and cutting-edge packaging technology to enhance integration of a logic chip and HBM.

While the Korean memory chip maker has used a proprietary technology to make base dies up to the fifth-generation HBM3E, it plans to adopt TSMC’s advanced logic process for HBM4’s base die so that additional functionality can be packed into limited space, SK hynix said.

Under the collaboration, SK hynix plans to start mass production of the HBM4 from 2025.

They will also work on optimization of SK hynix' HBM production capability and TSMC's Chip on Wafer on Substrate technology, the company said.

SK hynix is currently forecast to dominate the burgeoning HBM market this year, taking some 52 percent of the market share. Runner-up Samsung Electronics follows SK with 42.4 percent of the market, while US-based Micron Technology takes 5 percent of the market share, according to TrendForce, a market tracker.

Chey is seen ramping up efforts to reinforce ties with global tech giants, as the company finds it is important for boosting the technological competence of both Korea and SK.

Chey traveled to the Netherlands in December last year, where he visited the headquarters of ASML, the sole supplier of the extreme ultraviolet lithography machines used to produce advanced chips, in order to forge business partnerships.

In April, Chey met with Nvidia CEO Jensen Huang and discussed ways to strengthen their partnership at Nvidia’s headquarters in San Jose, California.

By Jo He-rim (herim@heraldcorp.com)

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