Samsung Electronics placed orders for a new type of advanced chipmaking machinery, targeting increasing the production yield of its high bandwidth memory (HBM) chips to win business from AI processor maker Nvidia, Reuters reported.

The South Korean chipmaker will deploy the mass reflow molded underfill (MR-MUF) technique, first used by rival SK Hynix, to boost its HBM chip yields, the news agency wrote, citing multiple sources. Mass production using the new method won’t start until next year at the earliest as tests are carried out.

Samsung denied it is switching technologies, claiming the current non-conductive film (NCF) method was the “optimal solution” and will be used to make new HBM chips.

But sources told Reuters Samsung will use both techniques for future high-end chips, noting the yield for its latest HBM chip using NCF is 10 per cent to 20 per cent, compared with 60 per cent to 70 per cent for SK Hynix.

Samsung reportedly is discussing sourcing MUF materials from various suppliers, including Japan-based Nagase.

The vendor said at end-February it started sampling its latest HBM chip, the HBM3E, to customers, with mass production expected in the first half of this year.

TrendForce late last year said its research indicated Nvidia plans to diversify its HBM suppliers for “more robust and efficient supply chain management”.

In an earnings call at end-January, SK Hynix CFO Kim Woohyun highlighted a remarkable turnaround in revenue in the final quarter of 2023, which he credited to its “technological leadership in the AI memory space”.