Samsung begins mass production of second-generation 10nm DRAM
Samsung has announced that mass production of DRAM chips of the second generation of the 10nm class has started. The new 8 Gigabit DRAM chips for DDR4 RAM should be faster, smaller and more energy efficient. As production seems to be going well, future products (DDR5, GDDR6, HBM3) should be offered sooner, and more products of the first generation will continue to be manufactured.
Electronics giant company, Samsung has announced it will be the first memory chip manufacturer to mass-produce DRAM chips in a second-generation 10 nm class process. As a 10-nm class, Samsung sums up all products that are manufactured in a process structure between ten and nineteen nanometers. Corresponding 10 nm products of the first generation were published by the South Korean company in February of last year.
Samsung uses new technologies that are not described in more detail in the press release when manufacturing the new DRAM chips, without applying EUV lithography. Instead, the electronics company highlights a new technology that recognizes with high sensitivity in which memory cells which data are stored. This helps to identify data more accurately and improve circuit integration. In addition, so-called air spacers are used, wherein during production between different silicon layers, a further material is integrated, which is removed in a later production step by isotropic etching again. As a result, air layers remain in the silicon layout, which significantly reduce the parasitic bit line capacities – by about 34%, according to earlier data from the South Koreans.
The Air-Spacers allow to pack the chips more tightly and to operate faster. With its second-generation 10 nm process, Samsung claims to be the smallest, most powerful, and most energy efficient 8 Gigabit DRAM chip. The second generation of processors in the 10nm class increases productivity by about 30 percent over its predecessor. The performance of the new 8 Gigabit chips is said to have increased by ten percent, while the energy efficiency increased by as much as 15 percent. Each pin of the new DDR4 chips can operate at a speed of 3,600 megabits per second, the predecessor products reached a maximum speed of only 3,200 megabits per second.
Samsung plans to accelerate the advancement in other products after the success with the 8-gigabit DRAM chips for DDR4 memory bars. Specifically named are next-generation DRAM chips and systems, including DDR5, HBM3, LPDDR5, and GDDR6 for professional applications, mobile devices, supercomputers, workstations, and high-speed graphics cards. The validation of the new DDR4 modules has already been completed in cooperation with the CPU manufacturers. In addition to mass production of second generation 10nm memory chips, Samsung also intends to increase first generation production capacity to cope with growing demand.
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