Samsung Electronics will expand the application of extreme ultraviolet (EUV) technology in DRAM production, the company said at its investor forum held on Monday.
It will also apply double-stack technology for its 3D NAND flash to cement its leadership position ahead of rivals, the company said.
Samsung’s EUV process was one to two years head of rivals, company SVP of memory strategic marketing, Han Ji-man said. Samsung has collected various know-how from producing 4 million wafers with EUV process applied since 2014, he said.
Earlier this year, Samsung have said it has applied the EUV process for 1x DRAM production.
According to people familiar with the matter, Samsung is planning to apply EUV process to one layer of its 1z DRAM.
For 1a DRAM, the company is planning to apply the technology to four layers.
Samsung also stressed the memory business’ synergy with the foundry business. Unlike rivals SK Hynix or Micron, the South Korean tech giant can use the EUV equipment together with the foundry business. This will allow it to save cost. Objective Analysis analyst Jim Handy had said it was inefficient to buy EUV equipment to apply just to one to two layers.
Han also said applying EUV compared to ArF reduced the defect rate by 20%.
Samsung will also apply double-stack, or two-stack, technology starting with its 7th generation NAND flash, the SVP said. Double-stack stacks two finished dies to increase the number of layers.
The South Korean tech giant’s 6th generation NAND flash had 128 layers. Having more layers can cause bending of the chip and it is difficult to punch holes into all the layers at once.
Rivals have already begun applying double-stack technology to NAND flash ships in the 90 layer range. Han stressed that as Samsung have used single-stack up to 128 layers, its double-stack will be more competent compared to rivals. The company could make a NAND flash with 256 layers by applying double-stack to its 128 layers chip, the company stressed.
Samsung, referencing data from Tech Insight, said its 3D NAND flash was also 15% to 30% shorter than rivals. Thanks to this efficient cell design, it has higher margins compared to its competitors.
The SVP said the COVID-19 pandemic has accelerated digital transformation, leading to strong demand for memory. The company will seek balanced growth across all regions and offer a diverse line-up to flexibly react to future uncertainties, Han added.