Samsung has actually proven the superiority of proprietary technical processes for the release of RAM crystals. It has long been a technology leader in the industry, but has lost the last two or three years to the American company Micron. Today Samsung is again ahead with the most advanced 14nm process technology, expanding the use of EUV range scanners. In terms of the amount of technological breakthroughs, it has no equal in this.
Official press release from Samsung reportedthat began mass production of DDR5 memory using the 14nm process technology. For the first time in 11 years, the company named the exact standards for the scale of the technical process, instead of an uninformative phrase about a particular class of technical process, for example, about the 10nm class, if we talk about the memory presented today. But this was done under pressure from investors, who suspected that Samsung was beginning to yield to Micron in terms of the manufacturability of memory production.
Indeed, the study of Micron memory crystals showed that even without EUV scanners, the memory of this manufacturer is produced at rates close to 14 nm (14.3 nm). At the same time, Samsung’s memory was produced with technological standards closer to 20 nm than to 14. Classification allowed hiding the exact information. When this was revealed, a Samsung spokesman promised that the company would release a fair 14nm memory in fall 2021. Today, such memory has begun to be produced in large quantities, so Samsung kept its word and, we repeat, for the first time in more than two five-year plans, did not hide technical information.
To some, this may seem like an insignificant event. But to understand the achievements of a particular company in the industry, this is very, very valuable information, which previously had to be obtained from third and often unverified sources. We hope that Samsung’s initiative will be supported by other memory manufacturers, and we will get another foothold for comparing the technical processes of different companies.
In addition, with the production of the new memory, the number of layers that are produced using EUV scanners has been increased from two to five. Arguably, most of Samsung’s critical memory layers are now produced using the world’s most advanced lithography equipment. Micron will only come to this in a couple of years or so, and SK hynix is just starting production using 13.5nm EUV scanners.
By expanding the transition to production using EUV scanners, Samsung was able to slightly increase the density of memory cells and, in particular, increased the production of memory crystals by 20% (obviously, from each plate). Additionally, the transition to the 14nm process technology allowed to reduce memory power consumption by almost 20%, and thanks to the new standard, the transfer speed reaches an unprecedented value of 7.2 Gb / s, which is more than twice the speed of DDR4, which reaches 3.2 Gb / s.