Samsung claims industry’s first second-generation, 10nm DRAM is in production

Mass production has begun of what Samsung claims is the industry’s first second-generation of 10nm class, eight-Gbit DDR4 DRAM. It is for use in a range of next-generation computing systems, says Samsung. It features the highest performance and energy efficiency for an eight-Gbit DRAM chip, as well as the smallest dimensions.

Gyoyoung Jin, president of Memory Business at Samsung Electronics explains how the company’s investment in innovation has brought about this generation of DRAMs. “Through a rapid ramp-up of the second-generation, 10nm-class DRAM, we will expand our overall 10nm-class DRAM production more aggressively, in order to accommodate strong market demand and continue to strengthen our business competitiveness,” he said.

Samsung’s second-generation, 10nm-class, eight-Gbit DDR4 features an approximate 30 per cent productivity gain over the company’s first-generation 10nm-class eight-Gbit DDR4, introduced in February 2016. In addition, the new eight-Gbit DDR4’s performance levels and energy efficiency have been improved about 10 and 15 per cent respectively, thanks to the use of an advanced, proprietary circuit design technology, says Samsung. The DDR4 can operate at 3,600Mbit per second per pin, compared to 3,200Mbit per second of the company’s 1x-nm eight-Gbit DDR4.

To enable these achievements, Samsung has applied new technologies, without the use of an EUV process. Instead, it has used a high-sensitivity cell data sensing system and a progressive “air spacer” scheme.

In the cells of Samsung’s second-generation, 10nm-class DRAM, a newly devised data sensing system enables a more accurate determination of the data stored in each cell, which leads to a significant increase in the level of circuit integration and manufacturing productivity.

The DRAM also makes use of an air spacer that has been placed around its bit lines to dramatically decrease parasitic capacitance. Use of the air spacer enables not only a higher level of scaling, but also rapid cell operation, adds Samsung.

With these advancements, Samsung is now accelerating its plans for much faster introductions of next-generation DRAM chips and systems, including DDR5, HBM3, LPDDR5 and GDDR6, for use in enterprise servers, mobile devices, supercomputers, HPC systems and high-speed graphics cards.

Samsung has finished validating its second-generation, 10nm-class DDR4 modules with CPU manufacturers, and next plans to work closely with its global IT customers to develop more efficient next-generation computing systems.


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