Samsung announces 40nm DRAM chip

New DRAM chip reduces power use up to 30% over predecessor

Samsung Electronics Co. announced today that it has developed its first DRAM chip and module using 40-nanometer lithography technology.

The new 1Gbit DDR2 component and a corresponding 1GB, 800Mbit/sec. DDR2 inline memory module have been certified in the Intel Platform Validation program for use with the Intel GM45 series Express mobile chip sets.

The new GM45 series mobile chips are expected to reduce power usage by 30% over current 50nm process technology, Samsung said.

The Intel GM45 Express chip set will primarily be used for notebooks.

Samsung's 1GB, 800Mbit/sec. DDR2 inline memory module
Samsung's 1GB, 800Mbit/sec. DDR2 inline memory module

The migration to 40nm-class process technology is expected to accelerate the time-to-market cycle by 50%, from two years to one, Samsung said.

Samsung announced last week that it had taken its DDR3 DRAM chip technology to the 50nm process level. The company plans to apply its 40nm-class technology to also develop a 2Gbit DDR3 device for mass production by the end of 2009.

"This definitely moves Samsung ahead very aggressively in terms of its manufacturing facilities," said Bob Merritt, a founding partner of market research firm Convergent Semiconductors LLC.

Merritt said Samsung's move to 40nm lithography on DDR2 may also signal a further drop in DRAM pricing, which is already plaguing an industry facing oversupply issues.

Copyright © 2009 IDG Communications, Inc.

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