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Samsung has a new semiconductor division boss

Samsung has named Young Hyun Jun as the chief of its semiconductor unit as it tries to re-gain ground in the HBM and AI chip space.

Young Hyun Jun, who previously led the future business planning unit, is hardly new to the chip market. He led Samsung’s memory chip business from 2014 to 2017, and also served as the CEO of Samsung SDI, the company’s battery arm, from 2017 to 2022.

He takes over from Kyung Kye-hyun, who will now lead the Samsung Advanced Institute of Technology and the future business division.

Samsung’s chip division posted a loss of nearly 15 trillion won last year amid an industry downturn. So the company clearly believes it needs a re-boot. “This appointment is a preemptive measure to strengthen the competitiveness of the semiconductor business amid an uncertain global business environment,” it said in a statement.

DRAM has long been Samsung’s largest source of profit, but now its close rival SK Hynix is winning in the next-gen HBM memory space. It exclusively supplies Nvidia, which controls nearly 90% of the AI chip market.

One of Young Hyun Jun's tasks will be to boost HBM market share and accelerate the switch to a new chip manufacturing technique, first used by rival SK Hynix, to increase yields on its HBM chips. The firm recently announced a partnership with Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Company to jointly produce the latest generation of HBM, with mass production of sixth-generation HBM4 technology scheduled to begin in 2026.


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June 13 2024 1:49 pm V22.4.55-2