Samsung and SK Hynix are accelerating the commercialization process of 3D DRAM

Samsung and SK Hynix are leaders in the field of memory storage, ranking first and second in the industry. There are rumors that both giants are accelerating the commercialization process of 3D DRAM to change the rules of the memory industry. In fact, Micron, which ranks third in the DRAM industry, has been researching 3D DRAM since 2019 and has obtained two to three times more patents than Samsung and SK Hynix.

According to Business Korea, industry insiders revealed that executives from Samsung and SK Hynix have recently promoted 3D DRAM as a way to overcome the physical limits of DRAM at official events. Samsung stated that 3D DRAM is the growth engine of the future semiconductor industry, while SK Hynix believes that the electrical details of 3D DRAM will be publicly disclosed around next year, thereby determining its development direction.

3D DRAM is a type of storage chip with a completely new structure, breaking the original pattern. Currently, the focus of DRAM product development is to increase density by reducing circuit line widths. However, as the line width enters the 10nm range, physical limitations such as capacitor leakage and interference increase significantly. For this reason, the industry has introduced new materials and equipment such as high-k materials and extreme ultraviolet (EUV) devices. However, for various DRAM manufacturers, making 10nm or more advanced small chips is still a huge challenge.

Unlike the current DRAM market, there is currently no absolute leader in the field of 3D DRAM. Micron started earlier in the 3D DRAM technology competition and has more patents. Samsung and SK Hynix may accelerate the commercialization process of 3D DRAM and enter large-scale production as soon as possible to seize the market earlier.

Currently, the most advanced DRAM that Samsung and SK Hynix can mass-produce uses about 12nm process technology. Considering that it is getting closer to 10nm, the commercialization of new structure DRAM chips is almost inevitable in the next three to four years, rather than a choice.