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Micron overtakes DRAM competition, avoids EUV

Micron overtakes DRAM competition, avoids EUV

Business news |
By Peter Clarke



Castellano has produced detailed charts that show Micron Technology Inc. (Boise, Idaho) has come from a lagging position in DRAM production to be the first, and so-far only, company to be producing on a so-called 1z-nm node.

Samsung and SK Hynix, the main DRAM competitors, are only due to start their production at the 1z-nm node in 2020. As a result Micron is now two quarters ahead of the competition after being as much as 12 months behind Samsung at the beginning of 2019.

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Micron’s early move leapfrogging the 1y-nm node means that 6 percent of its DRAM bit-shipments on 1z-nm in 2019 and it will lead the market in 2020 with 28 percent of bit-shipments on 1z-nm and likely to be the first DRAM company to the so-called 1-alpha-nm node, Castellano argues.

Typically moving from one node to the next in DRAM provides the manufacturer with a 20 to 25 percent cost improvement. Micron has achieved this while remaining on deep ultraviolet (DUV) lithography. Samsung and SK Hynix however are preparing to introduce EUV lithography, which may have a negative effect on the economy of scaling and encourage companies to delay.

Samsung is planning to use EUV for one layer in the 1z-nm node in 2020 and SK Hynix will use EUV for a single layer in the 1-alpha-nm node in 2021, Castellano said.

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