SK hynix has announced that it has started mass production of the 8 Gigabit LPDDR4 ((Low Power Double Data Rate 4) mobile DRAM based on the 1anm, which is the fourth generation of the 10nm process technology.
As the semiconductor industry classifies the 10nm DRAM products, naming them after the alphabets, the 1a technology is the fourth generation, following the first three generations of the 1x, 1y, and 1z. SK hynix plans to provide the latest mobile DRAM products to smartphone manufacturers from the second half of 2021.
This is the first time that SK hynix adopted EUV equipment for mass production after proving the stability of the cutting edge lithography technology through partial adoption for its 1ynm DRAM production.
As technology migration continues to ultra-micro levels, an increasing number of semiconductor companies are adopting the EUV equipment for the photo process where circuit patterns are drawn on the wafer surfaces. Industry experts believe that a semiconductor company's leadership in technology will depend on how it can fully take advantage of the EUV equipment. SK hynix plans to use the EUV technology for production of all its 1anm DRAM products going forward as it has proved the stability of the process.
SK hynix expects the new technology to bring an improvement in productivity, and further boost cost competitiveness. The company expects the 1anm technology to lead to a 25% increase in the number of DRAM chips produced from the same size of a wafer, compared with the previous 1znm node. SK hynix anticipates that the 1anm DRAM will also likely help alleviate the supply and demand conditions of the global markets following an increase in demand globally.
The new product stably runs 4266 Mbps, the fastest transfer rate in a standard LPDDR4 mobile DRAM specification, and has reduced power consumption by 20%. It is a meaningful accomplishment for SK hynix as it aims to reduce carbon dioxide emission as part of its commitment to the environmental, social and governance (ESG) management.