on Tuesday announced that it is now mass producing what it considers the most advanced 4Gb (Gigabit) DDR3 memory based on a new 20nm
manufacturing process technology. Using Samsung's innovations in manufacturing, the South Korean chip maker says it's been able to improve yields by more than 30 percent compared to 25nm DDR3, and more than double that of 30nm-class DDR3.
As Samsung explains it, the process of scaling DRAM memory where each cell consists of a capacitor and a transistor linked to one another has become significantly more difficult than NAND flash memory where cells don't require a capacitor. To overcome this hurdle, Samsung tweaked its design and manufacturing technology to come up with a modified double patterning and atomic layer deposition.
"Samsung's modified double patterning technology marks a new milestone, by enabling 20nm DDR3 production using current photolithography equipment and establishing the core technology for the next generation of 10nm-class DRAM production. Samsung also successfully created ultrathin dielectric layers of cell capacitors with an unprecedented uniformity, which has resulted in higher cell performance," the company said.
What all this innovation ultimately boils down to is lower costs (since yields are higher) and less power consumption. According to Samsung, 20nm 4Gb DDR3-based modules can save up to 25 percent of the energy consumed by equivalent modules fabricated using the previous 25nm manufacturing process.