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Samsung To Offer 40-NM Memory Chip This Year

The company hopes the DRAM chip, which consumes 30% less power than current 50-nm technology, will expand its lead in a market suffering one of its worst downturns ever.

Antone Gonsalves

February 4, 2009

2 Min Read


Samsung 40-NM Memory Chip

Samsung 40-nm memory chip


Samsung 40-nm memory chip
(click for larger image)

Samsung Electronics on Wednesday said it plans to start selling by the end of this year a DRAM chip built with its new 40-nanometer technology, which is expected to use significantly less power than the current generation of memory chips used in PCs.

Samsung is launching its next-generation technology in an attempt to expand its lead in a market suffering one of its worst downturns ever. Samsung and rivals are moving as quickly as possible toward thinner circuitry to boost power efficiency, increase memory, and lower unit costs.

Samsung claims it's the first in the industry to build DRAM chips with 40-nm circuitry, which is 40 billionths of a meter. The components include a 1-Gb DDR2 chip and a 1-GB, 800-Mbps DDR2 SODIMM. The chips have been validated for use with the Intel GM45 series Express mobile chipsets.

Samsung plans to use its 40-nm technology for mass production of a 2-Gb DDR3 memory chip by the end of the year. Less expensive 40-nm chips, such as DDR2 components, are scheduled to ship in 2010.

Samsung expects the finer DRAM to consume 30% less power than current 50-nm technology. The company expects a 60% productivity gain in migrating to the new manufacturing process.

DRAM chips deliver system memory for PCs and increasingly for mobile devices and game consoles. Makers of the technology, however, have suffered financial setbacks as a result of a market glut that has sent prices plummeting and inventories soaring.

In December, Gartner lowered its 2009 estimates for worldwide semiconductor revenue. The analyst firm expects the market to see a 16.3% decline to $219.2 billion. The drop would mark the first time the industry has suffered back-to-back years of declining sales. Last year, revenue fell by 4.4%, according to Gartner.

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