Samsung is putting its full weight behind a better way to manufacture the main memory used in enterprise and cloud datacenters, edge devices and smartphones. We’re fine tuning new EUV (extreme ultra-violet) DRAM production methodologies that are expected to roll out on a massive scale beginning in 2021 ― a change almost sure to have enormous implications.
A New Racetrack
Samsung is the first to fully embrace EUV for DRAM as a way to overcome the challenges in scaling at the very heart of today’s memory equation. EUV reduces repetitive steps in multi-patterning and improves patterning accuracy, enabling enhanced performance, better yields, and shortened development time. That means more usable chips, better specs, faster turnaround and overall, a smarter approach to serving the premium electronics market.
In demonstrating our full commitment to EUV DRAM, we have already shipped one million D1x DDR4 modules based on EUV technology, which have been used to complete global customer evaluations. We plan to start volume production of premium D1a-based, 16Gb EUV DDR5 products next year, which will double the manufacturing productivity of our 12-inch D1x DRAM wafers.
Setting the Pace
We will push for more EUV-based memory output, as higher volumes work to improve our overall manufacturing efficiency. Not only are we leading the industry, but we’ll be setting the pace for widespread use of memory that lasts longer, performs extra reliably and can be made at higher densities.
Clearly, the EUV DRAM process will represent a radical operational facelift. What only worked for logic chips until now will soon work for all future generations of DRAM.
There has been skepticism as to whether anyone could cost-effectively master EUV techniques for DRAM at exceptionally low process nodes. Yet, Samsung’s relentless drive to innovate has opened the door to the vast majority of Samsung advanced DRAM being produced in this manner starting next year.
We are already collaborating with leading global IT customers, to prime the market for process improvements which will pave the way for the higher volumes that await.
With the Internet of Things and 5G technology dramatically expanding the modern-day role of semiconductors, Samsung EUV DRAM technology will play a pivotal role in enhancing memory performance and overall end-user experiences for consumer, cloud and datacenter applications. As one of the most evolutionary enabling technologies ever developed, EUV will soon be to the upper echelon of DRAM what V-NAND has been to storage: exacting, transformative and operationally awe-inspiring.