EUV[*] technology uses short-wavelength ultraviolet light that are close to soft X-rays. The result is smaller features, and a potentially cheaper and simpler manufacturing process, compared to today's semiconductors and fabrication techniques.
The Korean giant today said it's already produced one million EUV-fabbed 10nm DDR4 DRAM chips and that customers liked what they saw.
The South Korean giant added that it would use the new technology to make all future generations of its DRAM, starting with its 10nm and 14nm models. The company expects to use the technology to mass produce next-gen memory technology, DDR5 and LPDDR5, as early as next year.
The first batches of EUV ships emerged from its new V1 fab in Hwaseong, Korea, which opened last month after US$6bn of up-front investment.
But even with that colossal capital outlay, EUV is attractive because it requires fewer mask levels [eetimes.com] – a mask is a key component in the lithography process – which means faster production. The tech can also reduce repetitive steps in the fabrication process and do it more accurately, reducing production times.
[...]Although Samsung is the first company to use EUV to make DRAM, it is not the first to use the tech overall. Late last year, TSMC began shipping products based on its N7+ 7nm chips, which are made using the new technology. The semiconductor giant said the chips produced using the new tech provide 15 to 20 per cent higher transistor density, as well as 10 per cent lower power consumption than its N7 chips made using conventional methods. Intel is also developing its own EUV technology.
EUV: Extreme UltraViolet [wikipedia.org]:
Extreme ultraviolet radiation (EUV or XUV) or high-energy ultraviolet radiation is electromagnetic radiation in the part of the electromagnetic spectrum spanning wavelengths from 124 nm down to 10 nm, and therefore (by the Planck–Einstein equation) having photons with energies from 10 eV up to 124 eV (corresponding to 124 nm to 10 nm respectively).