New Samsung fab churns out 2x-nm memory

If only real men have fabs, then Samsung is looking particularly masculine today. The company has kicked off production at Line-16, a new fabrication facility that has been under construction since May of last year. The facility totals nearly 200,000 square meters of floor space spread over a dozen stories, and Samsung claims it has the “largest production capacity” in the industry.

According to the official press release, DDR3 memory chips built on “20 nm class production technology” (emphasis ours) are already rolling off the line. Samsung isn’t specific about exactly how many nanometers it’s working with, but the firm does say the DRAM chips are the first to be produced using this class of process technology. The 2Gb chips are said to offer a 40% reduction in energy consumption over DRAM fabbed with 3x-nm process technology. Samsung expects to be cranking out chips with 4Gb capacities by the end of the year.

In addition to churning out cutting-edge DRAM memory, Line-16 will be tasked with flash production. 10,000 12-inch wafers loaded with NAND memory are expected to be generated by the facility every month. Like the DRAM chips, the NAND dies will be fabbed on a 2x-nm process.

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    • ronch
    • 8 years ago

    I predict that 10 years from now the number of companies that actually manufacture DRAM chips will be substantially lower, as R&D costs escalate and the big players further invest in manufacturing while the smaller players’ struggles become harder and harder. I suppose DRAM is the last bastion. CPUs, motherboards, GPUs, hard drives… we used to have so many brands to choose from, but not anymore as consolidation and shakeouts happened through the years. Well, I guess there’s no escaping reality, is there? What’s next, keyboards and mice?

    • Scrotos
    • 8 years ago

    I don’t get it. This is impressive? I keep hearing about TSMC and Intel and AMD going for 28nm and 22nm process nodes. Samsung could be churning out 29.9nm “20 nm class” stuff for all we know with this PR. I mean, ok, this is Flash, not DRAM, but it’s from early 2010:

    [url<]http://www.pcworld.com/article/188193/intel_and_micron_first_to_25nm_with_new_flash_memory_chips.html[/url<] And recently they are touting 20nm (not "class") processing nodes. Maybe I'm jaded, but I think I won't be impressed until the teens at this point. Great improvement in power consumption but I think Intel and Micron had 32/35 nm back in 2008? So... 3 years old process tech and they are saying how much awesomer they are than that? Meh.

      • Johnny5
      • 8 years ago

      Yeah, it’s stupid that as we get into smaller sizes for which that second digit becomes more important we lose it. The difference low and high 20’s is almost 50% in the first dimension, more in two dimensions. I guess it’s a marketing thing to make their high 20’s match with other’s low 20’s. On the other hand I hear there is a fair bit of leeway in even determining what nm a process is.

    • odizzido
    • 8 years ago

    sounds like some good laptop memory.

    • UberGerbil
    • 8 years ago

    DDR3 is going to have an unusually long economic life compared to its predecessors, thanks to its successor being pushed off so far. As amazing as the price / capacity point is right now, it’s bound to get even better… right up until there’s shakeout in the industry. Past transitions have allowed the mfrs to pay off new fabs (or nodes) by using them to produce the latest spec at the highest prices; but now, with no new spec in the offing, only the companies with the deepest pockets (like Samsung) can stomach pushing the tech like this. While we’ll be enjoying cheap 8 GB DIMMs soon enough (32GB of memory in four slots for less than $200 — will we see the return of the [url=https://techreport.com/articles.x/9312<]i-RAM[/url<] as a boot drive?) things may not be so rosy for the more marginal suppliers.

      • Geistbar
      • 8 years ago

      The increasing costs of going to smaller nodes makes me wonder if we will see a rise in the independent foundry business; individual companies might not have the volume & sale prices to make it viable to pay that cost. I would expect that at least Intel, IBM and Samsung will retain their fabs going forward. I wonder who else?

      I would hope not for on the return of the i-RAM. Permanent storage that is dependent on a power source is just icky. Maybe we will be truly lucky, and the lull before DDR4 will cause some companies to invest more in alternative memory types ([url=https://secure.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/en/wiki/Phase-change_memory/<]NRAM[/url<] or [url=https://secure.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/en/wiki/Magnetoresistive_Random_Access_Memory<]PRAM[/url<] maybe?). Probably not, but we can hope. Edit: Formatted the links wrong.

    • oMa
    • 8 years ago

    12 inch? I thought it was 300mm. Not 304,8mm

      • UberGerbil
      • 8 years ago

      [url<]http://www.cs.washington.edu/homes/brun/pubs/pubs/Kiddon11.pdf[/url<]

        • My Johnson
        • 8 years ago

        I want my 5 minutes back. Mostly just trying to figure out if that was a serious paper.

          • UberGerbil
          • 8 years ago

          [url<]http://www.newscientist.com/blogs/onepercent/2011/04/software-works-out-whether-tha.html[/url<]

    • bcronce
    • 8 years ago

    If the Bulldozer turns out to have a decent upgrade path from my i7-920, then I may have to buy some new high-density memory. With Win8, I may be doing some virtualization and need more memory.

      • bcronce
      • 8 years ago

      Don’t you love it when random internet deuches just -1 you for no reason?

        • sweatshopking
        • 8 years ago

        i plussed you.

          • eitje
          • 8 years ago

          i minused him, just to offset your contribution!

            • bcronce
            • 8 years ago

            I +1’d you because you’re funny 🙂

      • Vasilyfav
      • 8 years ago

      Can you be more specific as to what you’re planning to do with virtualization?

        • Beelzebubba9
        • 8 years ago

        Lamp server and maybe OS X!

        (that’s what I want to do at least)

        • bcronce
        • 8 years ago

        Hyper-V comes baked into Win8, I’m sure I’ll find something. With MS’s new contribution to Linux drivers, there should be a really fast virtual stack for Linux to run under Hyper-V.

        Also, I wouldn’t have to run my SQL devel server in Windows, I could just drop it in a Hyper-V instance, and start/stop the OS whenever I need it.

          • ew
          • 8 years ago

          [url<]http://www.virtualbox.org/[/url<]

    • ew
    • 8 years ago

    I’d like to know how many GB of NAND you get per wafer.

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