Samsung Electronics has announced that it has begun mass
producing the industry’s first 1Gigabit DDR2 DRAM using 60 nanometer process
technology. In its press release, Samsung estimates efficiency gains of the
60nm process are 40 percent over the 80nm, and twice the productivity of 90nm
general process technology.
Samsung’s line up of 60nm 1Gb DRAM-based modules includes
512MB, 1GB and 2GB densities supporting either 667Mbps or 800Mbps speeds. Samsung
anticipates such a high degree of receptivity to the 60nm process that it
should drive greater demand for 1Gb DRAM chips in the near future over today’s
mainstream density of 512Mb.
Samsung’s migration below 90nm has relied heavily on the use
transistor technologies to build increasingly smaller chips, a fundamentally
unique approach toward finer circuit designs and higher yields. The use of
metal-insulator metal (MIM) for its capacitors provides enhanced data storage
in sub-70nm designs. Furthermore, the use of a recently-announced selective
epitaxial growth (SEG) technology provides for a broader electron channel, and
optimizes the speed of each chip’s electrons to reduce power consumption and
enable higher performance. These key technologies are expected to enable DRAM
fabrication to 50nm and lower.
Last October, Samsung announced that it had developed a 1Gb DDR2 DRAM chip on
the 50nm process. While mass production of the 60nm chips begin now,
production of the 50nm process isn’t expected to start until 2008. It won’t be
until 2008, however, before the 60nm process becomes the mainstream circuit
technology for DRAM. According to Samsung’s forecasts, 60nm DRAM revenues are
expected to reach $2.3 billion worldwide in the first year of market
availability and to further increase to $32 billion by 2009.