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SK hynix begins serial production of 1a DRAM using EUV lithography

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SK hynix announced this month that it has begun mass production of 1a 8-gigabit mobile LPDDR4 DRAM chips, which are in line with the fourth generation of the 10nm memory manufacturing process.

Recall that for the first three generations, the designations 1x, 1y and 1z were used. They corresponded to three sub-ranges of technological norms in the general range of 10-19 nm. Although the manufacturer does not name a specific value, the 1a standards are closest to 10 nm. The transition to norms 1a allows to increase the number of microcircuits per one plate by 25%.

The new memory supports 4266 Mbps, the highest data transfer rate defined by the LPDDR4 mobile DRAM specification. At the same time, it consumes 20% less energy compared to its predecessor.

SK hynix expects to start shipping the new memory to smartphone makers in the first half of the year.

Note that this is the first time that SK hynix has used EUV equipment in the serial production of DRAM. The manufacturer claims to have managed to create a “stable process”, so it plans to use EUV lithography for all future 1a-rated ICs. In addition, from the beginning of next year, SK hynix expects to transfer DDR5 memory, which will be released from October 2020, to EUV technology and 1a standards.

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