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Smaller, Faster DRAM Chips To Power Computers

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Samsung has developed what it claims the smallest 8Gb DDR4 DRAM memory chip using 10-nanometer manufacturing technology. The chip is intended for use in a wide range of next-generation computing systems.

The new chips are 10 percent faster and 15 percent more energy efficient than the previous generation 10nm 8Gb DDR4. They also feature an approximate 30 percent productivity gain over the previous generation, allowing more chips to be built in the same time.

“The new 8Gb DDR4 can operate at 3,600 megabits per second (Mbps) per pin, compared to 3,200 Mbps of the company’s 1x-nm 8Gb DDR4”, claims Samsung.

“By developing innovative technologies in DRAM circuit design and process, we have broken through what has been a major barrier for DRAM scalability,” said Gyoyoung Jin, president of Memory Business at Samsung Electronics. “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.”

Samsung said these achievements were possible by applying new technologies, without the use of an EUV process. The innovation included use of a high-sensitivity cell data sensing system and a progressive “air spacer” scheme.

The new 10nm DRAM is said to make use of a unique air spacer that has been placed around its bit lines to decrease parasitic capacitance, an effect which slows down the reading process.

These advancements, says Samsung, will enable it to accelerate its plans for much faster introductions of next-generation DRAM chips and systems, including DDR5, HBM3, LPDDR5 and GDDR6.

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These would be used in enterprise servers, mobile devices, supercomputers, HPC systems and high-speed graphics cards, the company said.

Samsung will rapidly increase the production volume of the 2nd-gen 10nm DRAM chips, but also to manufacture more of its mainstream 1st-gen 10nm DRAM, which together will meet the growing demands for DRAM in premium electronic systems worldwide, according to the Press release.

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