SAMSUNG HAS become the first company to start mass production of 10nm-class DRAM chips.
The 8Gb DDR4 modules derived from the technology have been made possible through a process called argon fluoride immersion lithography, in place of extreme ultraviolet.
“Samsung’s 10nm-class DRAM will enable the highest level of investment efficiency in IT systems, thereby becoming a new growth engine for the global memory industry,” said Young-Hyun Jun, president of memory business at Samsung Electronics.
“In the near future, we will also launch next-generation 10nm-class mobile DRAM products with high densities to help mobile manufacturers develop even more innovative products that add to the convenience of mobile device users.”
The speed at which this sector continues to accelerate is illustrated by the fact that Samsung produced the world's first mass-produced 20nm 4GB DDR3 DRAM two years ago, itself just three years after the arrival of the 20nm chip.
Today's announcement sees the comparative wafer productivity shoot up by over 30 per cent in just two years. It is, however, worth noting that '10nm-class' means 'less than 20nm' and the actual size of what is being fabbed is not known.
The 10nm-class chips consume up to 20 per cent less power than 20nm products, and are 30 per cent faster than 20nm DDR4 at 3200Mbps.
The new products are aimed at the high-performance computing market and will find their way into conventional high-end devices and servers.
Samsung predicted this time last year that it will produce 10nm FinFET chips by the end of 2016.
The changes involved in bringing all this to fruition come from a number of new developments with mind-boggling names such as 'proprietary cell design technology', 'quadruple patterning technology' and 'ultra-thin dielectric layer deposition'.
Samsung has already confirmed that the techniques pioneered in this batch will form the basis of the next 10nm-class products (known as 1y).
As the year progresses, DRAM products incorporating the new design will range from 4GB modules for high-end laptops to 128GB chunks for servers.
Samsung is currently constructing a new fabrication plant which it is hoped will be open next year. µ
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