Do Samsung Electronics, SK Hynix and Micron all have the same 1y DRAM ? By looking at the results, it does not seem so. Micron and SK Hynix both introduced their second-generation 10-nano (1y) DRAM on the 12th of Nov. However, Samsung Electronics on the other hand already announced the mass production of 1y DRAM last Dec.
The same 1y DRAM differs in size, this indicates that there is a difference between Net Die, the number of chips that are produced per wafer.
According to the reliable resources, Samsung Electronics’ Net Die is the highest followed by SK Hynix and Micron. If the Net Die becomes higher, the area of Die becomes smaller. This will increase the number of chips that can be extracted per wafer, meaning the cost competitiveness will improve. Industry experts believe that Micron’s microprocessor is at least one generation behind that of Samsung Electronics and SK Hynix. The first generation has a gap of between 2 and 2.5 years.
Knowing the die area allows one to calculate how many chips can be extracted from a single wafer. According to a semiconductor analysis company called Tech Insight, Micron’s first generation 10-nano (1x) 8-Gigabit (Gb) DDR4 DRAM has a die size of 58.48mm2 and a memory density of 0.137Gb/mm2. Calculated by substituting the 300mm wafer disc and area (76,50mm2), theoretically, there are about 1,045 chips that can be produced.
SK Hynix’s third-generation 20-nano (2z) 8Gb DDR4 DRAM has a die size of 53.6mm2 and a memory density of 0.149Gb/mm2. In this case, the number of chips that can be produced from the original 300mm wafer is about 1,144.
Micron 1x is less productive compared to SK Hynix 2z. Experts stated that reflecting upon the results, the 1y DRAM will look similar.
What about Samsung Electronics ? Currently, there is no disclosed die size information available. However, inversion is possible if one knows the density. The memory density of 1x nano D-RAM reaches 0.189Gb/mm2. It is 32.8% higher compared to the previous 2z nano and the size of its cell decreased by 21.2%. In addition, it started mass-producing 1y D-RAM back in November of last year. The productivity of this product increased by 30% compared to 1x DRAM. It can be said that the number of chips produced from an original wafer will be the highest.
“The cost competitiveness of Samsung Electronics, SK Hynix, and Micron continues to be different even if the same processors are used,” said a representative from the industry. The representative added that “Micron has been using microprocessor for marketing since it acquired Elpida from Japan”.
Elpida was sold to Micron in 2012. Although Elpida once announced that it succeeded in developing 25-nano DRAM faster than companies in South Korea, it did not succeed in mass-producing DRAM.