Samsung Starts Mass-Producing 2nd-Generation 10nm-Class DRAM
Samsung released its first-generation 10nm-class DRAM in February 2016. Then, in October of that same year, it released the industry’s first 8GB LPDDR4 RAM. We’ve started to see smartphones with up to 8GB of RAM, most recently the OnePlus 5 and OnePlus 5T. And Samsung’s answering that demand with new products. On Wednesday, it announced mass production of second-generation 10nm-class 8-gigabit (Gb) DDR4 DRAM, an industry first.
Samsung says that its new 8Gb DRAM will be used in a wide range of next-generation computing systems. According to the company, it features the highest performance and energy efficiency and smallest dimensions for an 8Gb DRAM chip.
“By developing innovative technologies in DRAM circuit design and process, we have broken through what has been a major barrier for DRAM scalability,” Gyoyoung Jin, President of Samsung’s Memory Business, said in a statement. “Through a rapid ramp-up of the 2nd-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.”
According to Samsung, the second-generation 10nm-class 8Gb DDR4 DRAM has a 30 percent productivity gain over its predecessor. When it comes to raw data processing, the DRAM’s performance and energy efficiency are 10 percent and 15 percent improved, respectively. And it can operate at 3600 megabits per second (Mbps) per pin, up from the previous-generation DRAM’s 3200Mbps limit.
To manufacture the second-generation DRAM, Samsung says that it applied new technologies, including a high-sensitivity cell data system and a progressive “air spacer” scheme, but that it hasn’t made use of an EUV process.
The company says that it’s finished validating its second-generation 10nm-class DDR4 modules with processor manufacturers. Finally, it notes that it expects to “rapidly increase the production volume of the second-generation 10nm-class DRAM lineups” while simultaneously manufacturing more of its mainstream first-generation 10nm-class DRAM, which will help meet growing DRAM demand.
For mobile devices, the relevant piece of news is that device RAM will become faster and more power-efficient, which is undoubtedly good for the industry. If history’s any indication, it’s highly likely that we’ll see new products using Samsung’s 2nd-generation DRAM in the near future.
Samsung’s also planning to introduce next-generation DRAM chips and systems, including DDR5, HBM3, LPDDR5 and GDDR6. These will be used in mobile devices, enterprise servers, supercomputers, HPC systems, high-speed graphic cards, and more.
Source: Samsung (press release)