Samsung makes first SRAM using 7nm EUV

Posted on Wednesday, Feb 14 2018 @ 13:14 CET by Thomas De Maesschalck
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Over at the International Solid-State Circuits Conference (ISSCC) in San Francisco, Samsung announced it validated the first 256Mb SRAM that was made on a 7nm process that used extreme ultraviolet (EUV) lithography on at least four to six layers.

At the same conference, Intel showed its 10nm SRAM design and said it's "within 15 percent of the smallest reported 7nm cells". EE Times quotes an unnamed analyst who correctly points out that it's highly unusual for Intel to get on stage and say they're only 15 percent behind the competition.
Intel described 0.0312-mm2 high density and 0.0367-mm2 low-voltage SRAM bitcells made in its 10-nm process. Samsung’s 6T 256-Mbit device has a 0.026-mm2 bitcell.

The Intel design shows 0.62–0.58x scaling compared to its 14-nm SRAM, maintaining Moore’s law and “within 15 percent of the smallest reported 7-nm cell,” said Intel’s Zheng Gui, pointing to smaller 7-nm SRAMs from Samsung this year and TSMC at ISSCC 2017.
Then again, others are skeptical about whether Samsung can make SRAM with EUV in volume. David Kanter from Real World Tech notes Intel and TSMC are much more conservative on EUV than Samsung, and hints there are probably reasons for that. Samsung declined to confirm plans regarding the timeline to implement EUV for volume production.

Things are slowly going the right way for EUV, the new production technique has seen many years of delays but it looks like it will finally be ready for mass production in the near future. That's a big shift from where the industry was a couple of years ago, when many doubted whether EUV would ever be viable.

About the Author

Thomas De Maesschalck

Thomas has been messing with computer since early childhood and firmly believes the Internet is the best thing since sliced bread. Enjoys playing with new tech, is fascinated by science, and passionate about financial markets. When not behind a computer, he can be found with running shoes on or lifting heavy weights in the weight room.

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