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Memory shrink to 60nm can double production efficiency

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 of three-dimensional 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.





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