Samsung Electronics has reportedly gained a significant edge over other memory makers such as SK Hynix and Micron, by starting mass production of 18nm DRAM. EtNews.com reports that Samsung has surpassed the 'unbreakable barrier' of DRAM fine processing technology and has recently started mass-producing DRAM that has width of circuit of 18 nanometers.
The company has already ordered for production equipment from its partners and plans to further ramp up production this summer.
DRAM works by sending a charge through a "capacitor" in the memory cell. During reading, the level of charge in the capacitor is determined. If it is more than 50 percent, it reads it as a 1; otherwise it reads it as a 0.
It is not clear how Samsung managed to further shrink its DRAM manufacturing process. As the process becomes finer and the memory cell become smaller, it is more difficult for the capacitors to hold their charge. In addition, noise and tunneling of electric charge should be aadressed.
Samsung's technological progress is expected to help the company cut the production costs sooner than its competitors, meaning that the company could further increase its profits.
SK Hynix is currently increasing the proportion of early-end 20-nano process and is developing 1x-nano DRAM. It is also believed that Micron has yet to mass-produce early-end 20-nano DRAM.
If the report is accurate, the difference in technology between South Korean businesses and Micron is huge, with Micron to lag about 2 years behind.