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Samsung Semiconductor, the world’s largest producer of dynamic random access memory (DRAM), has said it had begun mass producing DDR2 memory chips using 80nm process technology. Potentially, such a move may decrease pricing of DDR2 going forward.

“With demand for DDR2 at its highest level since its market debut in 2004, our 80nm technology provides us with the ability to more efficiently support the sustained demand growth that is expected in the DDR2 marketplace this year,” said Tom Trill, director of DRAM Marketing for Samsung Semiconductor.

With 80nm process technology, Samsung is able to increase its production efficiency by 50% over the previous 90nm process. The production economies of scale afforded by moving to 80nm process technology will better enable the company to meet increasing demand for DDR2.

Samsung was able to smoothly transition from 90nm to 80nm process technology because it utilized many of the basic features of 90nm geometries, and as a result required minimal upgrades to its fabrication lines, the company emphasized.

The move to 80nm circuitry was sped up by the use of a recess channel array transistor (RCAT). This three-dimensional transistor layout greatly enhances the refresh rate, which is a critical element in data storage. Samsung’s RCAT also reduces cell area coverage, which allows for increased process scaling by freeing up space for chip-per-wafer growth.

According to Gartner Dataquest, a semiconductor industry research organization, DDR2 memory will comprise over 50% of the entire DRAM market in 2006. According to memory makers who mostly concentrate on channel market, DDR2 has about 30% market share now.


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