Micron announced 1-beta DRAM that improves memory chip power efficiency by 15% and bit density by 35%. Micron said it achieved production ready in September, after which it shipped samples of LPDDR5X to smartphone makers and chipset customers for products expected to hit the market in 2023.
Micron plans to expand the memory products it manufactures at this node from LPDDR to DDR5, HBM and graphics memory. The 1β products will initially be produced at Micron’s manufacturing plant in Hiroshima, Japan.
The 1β manufacturing process uses the company’s second-generation HKMG (High K Metal Gate), boasting a capacity of 16 GB per die and a data rate of 8.5 Gbps, manufactured on the traditional 1α (1-alpha) process node technology to achieve a 15% improvement in power efficiency and a 35% or more improvement in bit density compared to the previous product. This was achieved by shrinking memory cell arrays using cutting-edge patterning techniques, new processes, new materials and more advanced equipment.
1β will enable low-power, high-performance DRAM for many applications, from mobile phones to intelligent cars to data centres.
Unlike Samsung and SK Hynix, Micron is not using extreme ultraviolet (EUV) lithography at its 1β production node, as expected in some parts of the industry. Therefore, various multi-patterning techniques were used to continue shrinking the size of DRAM cells.
1β introduces new processes, materials, and advanced equipment to improve memory cell density and shrink memory cell arrays to save space and optimize power and performance gains for a given density. This technology implementation was possible without introducing less mature and expensive tools by applying Micron’s proprietary multi-patterning technology.
16 GB LPDDR5X-8500 memory is the first product Micron will make using the cutting-edge node, but over time other products will also use the node. The 16 GB LPDDR5X chip is said to offer eDVFSC (Enhanced Dynamic Voltage and Frequency Scaling Extensions Core) voltage control technology for power saving.
LPDDR5X memory is designed to boost the performance of various bandwidth-hungry applications, such as PC-class system-on-chips and artificial intelligence (AI) accelerators, and mobile applications, such as tablets and smartphones.
Micron is currently shipping samples of its LPDDR5X-8500 DRAM to interested parties and plans to begin mass production of these ICs once they pass the qualification process.