[Photo provided by Samsung Electronics Co.]
Samsung Electronics Co. has successfully applied extreme ultra-violet (EUV) processing technology to production of dynamic random access memory (DRAM) chips for the first time in the industry, further widening the technology gap with its rivals at a time of COVID-19 uncertainty.
The South Korean semiconductor giant announced on Wednesday it has successfully shipped one million of the industry’s first EUV-based 10nm-class (D1x) DDR4 (Double Date Rate 4) DRAM modules and completed its evaluation by global customers.
Samsung Electronics, which is also the world’s largest DRAM producer, is the first in the industry to adopt EUV in DRAM production. EUV technology reduces repetitive steps in multi-patterning and improves patterning accuracy, resulting in increased performance and yields as well as shortened development time, the company said in a statement.
"This major advancement underscores how we will continue contributing to global IT innovation through timely development of leading-edge process technologies and next-generation memory products for the premium memory market," said Lee Jung-bae, executive vice president of DRAM Product & Technology at Samsung Electronics.
Following the successful production of the EUV-based 10nm-class (D1x) DDR4, the company is readying for volume production of premium next-generation DRAM chips using EUV, including its 4th-gen 10nm-class (D1a) or the highly advanced 14nm-class DRAM with improved quality and yields compared to those produced under existing patterning technology.
Samsung Electronics plans to begin commercial production of D1a-based DDR5 and LPDDR5 next year, which would double manufacturing productivity of the 12-inch D1x wafers.
In line with the expansion of the DDR5/LPDDR5 market next year, Samsung will further strengthen its collaboration with leading IT customers and semiconductor vendors on optimizing standard specifications, as it accelerates the transition to DDR5/LPDDR5 throughout the memory market.
To better address the growing demand for next-gen premium DRAM chips, Samsung will start the operation of its new semiconductor fabrication line in Pyeongtaek, Korea during the second half of this year, the company announced.
On Thursday, shares of Samsung Electronics fell 1.75 percent to close at 47,800 won ($38.81).
By Hwang Soon-min and Minu Kim
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