Samsung applies EUV to DRAM for the first time

With development and customer evaluations complete, Samsung expects to mass-produce EUV-applied DRAM in 2021.

Samsung Electronics has successfully applied the Extreme Ultra Violet (EUV) process in its DRAM production, the company has announced.

It has also shipped 1 million 10nm-class DDR4 DRAM modules that were made using the EUV process that have also been evaluated by customers. With these evaluations complete, it paves the way for the new DRAM modules to be mass-produced next year, the South Korean tech giant said.

Samsung's EUV-dedicated V2 line at its Pyeongtaek plant will begin production of the DRAM modules in the second half of the year. The line is expected to produce 4th-generation 10nm-class DDR5 and LPDDR5

This is in addition to the 7nm-class logic chips, that also use the EUV process, that are already being produced at the Pyeongtaek plant.  

By using EUV, the company added that this would double the manufacturing productivity of its single 12-inch wafers.

The EUV process uses ultraviolet light with short wavelengths to draw design pattern on wafers. This allows for more detailed and finer designs compared to previous lithography technology that used argon fluoride lasers.

Global semiconductor makers like Samsung, Intel, and TSMC are all expected to widen the application of EUV for chip production, with Samsung previously saying it has plans to use the EUV process to scale down logic chips to as small as 3nm. 

At last week's shareholders' meeting, the company's co-CEO and vice chairman Kim Ki-nam said that he expects the memory market to stabilise this year due to demand from data centres after last year's memory market downturn. 

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