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SK hynix develops 3rd Gen. 10-nm memory chips

SK hynix, the world’s second-largest memory chip provider, announced Monday it has completed development of the third generation of DDR4 DRAM with the industry’s highest density and power efficiency, along with a plan to start mass production next year.

The Korean chipmaker has developed a 16-gigabit DDR4 on 10-nanometer technology process, known as 1Z-nm, with productivity improved from the previous 1Y-nm generation by 27 percent.

Considering that 16-gigabit DRAM is the industry’s highest density for a single chip, the total memory capacity per wafer marks the largest among existing DRAM products, according to the company. 

1Z-nm 16-gigabit DDR4 (SK hynix)
1Z-nm 16-gigabit DDR4 (SK hynix)

SK hynix completed the development without expensive extreme ultraviolet lithography equipment, which raised the competitiveness of the most sophisticated memory product cost-wise, it underlined.

The new 1Z-nm DRAM supports a data transfer rate of up to 3,200 megabits per second, featuring the highest speed for data processing in a DDR4 interface, while reducing power consumption by 40 percent compared to modules of the same density made with 1Y-nm 8-gigabit DRAM.

For the third-generation DDR4, SK hynix applied a new substance to maximize the capacitance of the product. Capacitance refers to the amount of electrical charge a capacitor can store, which is a key element of DRAM operation.

The chipmaker is preparing for mass production of 1Z-nm DDR4 by the end of the year and to start full-scale delivery next year, it said.

“The 1Z-nm DDR4 DRAM boasts the industry’s highest density, speed and power efficiency, making it the best product to meet the changing demands of customers seeking high-performance, high-density DRAM,” said Lee Jung-hoon, head of 1Z TF of DRAM development at SK hynix.

The company plans to expand the 1Z-nm technology process to a variety of next-generation applications, such as Low-Power DDR5 and High-Bandwidth Memory 3.

By Song Su-hyun (