Samsung has made the smallest 8GB DDR4 RAM chip ever using its proprietary second generation 10-nanometer manufacturing process. According to a press release, Samsung claims the chips are 15 percent more energy efficient and run 10 percent faster than its predecessor which launched just 20 months back.
The chip also has better productivity, by upto 30 percent which means wafer throughput and yields will allow Samsung to build more chips in the same time. This indicates computer RAM will become even cheaper and easier to find in the near future.
Samsung is not using a new fab process to make the RAM smaller. Instead, it is using a more efficient error checking and “a unique air spacer” around bit lines which decreases parasitic capacitance caused by the close proximity of modern chip traces.
The chip was made by Samsung’s chip division called Samsung Electronics. The subsidiary is one of the most profitable arms of the company. It already makes the 10-nanometer processors for Qualcomm along with manufacturing components like DRAM, GDDR5 RAM for graphics cards and non-volatile flash storage.
Currently, the company is manufacturing using a 10-nanometer process but soon plans to move to an 8-nanometer process roughly using the same technology. The next step, that is manufacturing 7-nanometer parts using ultraviolet lithography will prove to be trickier.
Samsung is expected to make more components on its second-gen 10-nanometer process. The company wants to “accelerate its plans for much faster introductions of next-generation DRAM chips and systems, including DDR5, HMB3, LPDDR5, and GDDR6, for use in enterprise servers, mobile devices, supercomputers, HPC systems and high-speed graphics cards.”
The company will also use the newer process to make more first-generation chips to reduce the dearth in supply.