SK Hynix 1anm DRAM -- making use of EUV for the first time

Posted on Monday, July 12 2021 @ 13:56 CEST by Thomas De Maesschalck
SK Hynix logo
SK Hynix kicked off mass production of DRAM on its new 1anm process technology. This is the fourth-generation 10nm process from the South Korean memory giant, and the firm's first time using EUV production equipment. The first product made on 1anm is a 8Gb LPDDR4-4266 memory chip.

Compared with the 1z process technology, SK Hynix's new 1a process promises a 25 percent increase in chips per wafer. The new LPDDR4 chip also has a 20 percent lower power consumption.

SK Hynix says it will use its 1a process for DDR5 memory from early 2022.
SK hynix Inc. (or “the Company”, announced that it has started this month mass production of the 8 Gigabit (Gb) *LPDDR4 mobile DRAM based on the 1anm, which is the fourth generation of the 10nm process technology.

* LPDDR4 (Low Power Double Data Rate 4): Low power DRAM for mobile devices. DDR refers to DRAM with the specifications that JEDEC standardized and the generation has advanced from one to four.

As the semiconductor industry classifies the 10nm DRAM products, naming them after the alphabets, the 1a technology is the fourth generation, following the first three generations of the 1x, 1y, and 1z. SK hynix plans to provide the latest mobile DRAM products to smartphone manufacturers from the second half of 2021.

This is the first time that SK hynix adopted the *EUV equipment for mass production after proving the stability of the cutting edge lithography technology through partial adoption for its 1ynm DRAM production.

* EUV (Extreme Ultraviolet): lithography technology that uses extreme ultraviolet

As technology migration continues to ultra-micro levels, an increasing number of semiconductor companies are adopting the EUV equipment for the photo process where circuit patterns are drawn on the wafer surfaces. Industry experts believe that a semiconductor company’s leadership in technology will depend on how it can fully take advantage of the EUV equipment. SK hynix plans to use the EUV technology for production of all its 1anm DRAM products going forward as it has proved the stability of the process.

SK hynix expects the new technology to bring an improvement in productivity, and further boost cost competitiveness. The company expects the 1anm technology to lead to a 25% increase in the number of DRAM chips produced from the same size of a wafer, compared with the previous 1znm node. SK hynix anticipates that the 1anm DRAM will also likely help alleviate the supply and demand conditions of the global markets following an increase in DRAM demand globally.

The new product stably runs 4266Mbps, the fastest transfer rate in a standard LPDDR4 mobile DRAM specification, and has reduced power consumption by 20%. It is a meaningful accomplishment for SK hynix as it aims to reduce carbon dioxide emission as part of its commitment to the environmental, social and governance (ESG) management.

SK hynix will apply its 1anm technology to its DDR5 products, the world’s first next-generation DRAM launched in October 2020, from early next year.

Cho Youngmann, Vice President at SK hynix, said that “With improved productivity and cost competitiveness, the latest 1anm DRAM will not only help secure high profitability, but also solidify SK hynix’s status as a leading technology company with early adoption of the EUV lithography technology for mass production.”
SKHynix DRAM with EUV

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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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