SK Hynix announced on Nov. 12 that the company has developed an 8Gbit DDR DRAM with higher productivity and power efficiency by applying a second-generation 10-nanometer micro-process. The company said the new technology boosted its productivity by about 20% while reducing 8Gbit DDR DRAMs’ consumption of electric power by more than 15%. This product can stably transfer data at a rate of 3,200Mbps, which is the highest rate supported by DDR4 standards.
In particular, SK Hynix applied four-phase clocking design technology to increase data transmission speed. This technology increases operating speed and stability by doubling transmission and reception signals in data transmission. This is the same principle as making vehicles pass highway toll gates more smoothly by increasing the number of tolls at the highway toll gates.
SK Hynix also said that they used "sense amplifier" control technology of its own development to cut down on power consumption and the possibility of data errors. This technology enhances the performance of a sense amplifier that senses and amplifies data that are in an electric charge state in a DRAM cell and transfers them to the outside. By improving the structure of the transistor, the company decreased the possibility of data errors.
SK Hynix plans to expand the application of the second-generation 10-nanometer process technology in various areas ranging from the PC and server markets to the mobile and other fields. "The second-generation 10-nanometer class DDR4 DRAM developed this time is a product that can satisfy customers in terms of performance and capacities," said Kim Seok, a director of DRAM marketing at Hynix. "We will respond to market demand by beginning to supply the product in the first quarter of next year."
SK Hynix is the world’s third chipmaker to mass produce DRAMs using second-generation 10-nanometer process. Samsung Electronics already started to use the process for production of second-generation server DRAMs in November of last year. Micron also started to mass-produce DRAMs using the same fine process. As the world's three major DRAM makers began mass production of second-generation 10-nanometer DRAMs, their gap widened with other companies.
According to market researcher IHS Markit, SK Hynix's global DRAM market share stood at 27.4% in the first quarter, second only to Samsung Electronics (44.4%). Combining the two’s market shares with that of Micron at third place, the trio’s market share would reach 94.9%.
Meanwhile, SK Hynix is also ready to mass produce next-generation NAND flashes. The chipmaker announced the development of the world's first 96-layer 4D NAND flash earlier this month.