Samsung Starts Mass Production of Industry’s First 10-Nanometer Class DRAM
Samsung announced today that it has begun mass producing the industry’s first 10-nanometer (nm) class, 8-gigabit (Gb) DDR4 (double-data-rate-4) DRAM chips and the modules derived from them. DDR4 is quickly becoming the most widely produced memory for personal computers and IT networks in the world, and Samsung’s latest advancement will help to accelerate the industry-wide shift to advanced DDR4 products. Samsung opened the door to 10nm-class DRAM for the first time in the industry after overcoming technical challenges in DRAM scaling.
The new DRAM supports a data transfer rate of 3,200 megabits per second (Mbps), which is more than 30 percent faster than the 2,400Mbps rate of 20nm DDR4 DRAM. Also, new modules produced from the 10nm-class DRAM chips consume 10 to 20 percent less power, compared to their 20nm-process-based equivalents, which will improve the design efficiency of next-generation, high-performance computing (HPC) systems and other large enterprise networks, as well as being used for the PC and mainstream server markets. Samsung’s leading-edge 10nm-class 8Gb DDR4 DRAM significantly improves the wafer productivity of 20nm 8Gb DDR4 DRAM by more than 30 percent.
Unlike NAND flash memory, in which a single cell consists of only a transistor, each DRAM cell requires a capacitor and a transistor that are linked together, usually with the capacitor being placed on top of the area where the transistor rests. In the case of the new 10nm-class DRAM, another level of difficulty is added because they have to stack very narrow cylinder-shaped capacitors that store large electric charges, on top of a few dozen nanometer-wide transistors, creating more than eight billion cells. Samsung successfully created the new 10nm-class cell structure by utilizing a proprietary circuit design technology and quadruple patterning lithography.
Based on its advancements with the new 10nm-class DDR4 DRAM, Samsung expects to also introduce a 10nm-class mobile DRAM solution with high density and speed later this year, which will further solidify its leadership in the ultra-HD smartphone market. While introducing a wide array of 10nm-class DDR4 modules with capacities ranging from 4GB for notebook PCs to 128GB for enterprise servers, Samsung will be extending its 20nm DRAM line-up with its new 10nm-class DRAM portfolio throughout the year. Samsung’s roll-out of the 10nm-class (1x) DRAM marks yet another milestone for the company after it first mass produced 20-nanometer (nm) 4Gb DDR3 DRAM in 2014.