Micron ships first 1α DRAM memory chips

Technology News |
By Nick Flaherty

Micron Technology has shipped the industry’s first 1α (1-alpha) node DRAM memory chips.

“This 1α node achievement confirms Micron’s excellence in DRAM and is a direct result of Micron’s relentless commitment to cutting-edge design and technology,” said Scott DeBoer, executive vice president of technology and products at Micron. “With a 40 percent improvement in memory density over our previous 1z DRAM node, this advancement will create a solid foundation for future product and memory innovation.”

Rather than using the minimum feature size for a process node, memory chip makers have moved to 1x, 1y and 1z, which for DRAM memory particularly corresponds to the dimension of half of the pitch of the active area in the memory cell array.

“As for 1α, you can think of it as the fourth generation of the 10nm class where the half-pitch ranges from 10 to 19nm. As we go from 1x nanometer to 1y, 1z and 1α, this dimension gets smaller and smaller.” said Thy Tran, vice president of DRAM Process Integration in the Micron Technology Group “We started with 1x, but as we continued to shrink and name the next nodes, we hit the end of the roman alphabet. That’s why we switched to the Greek alphabet alpha, beta, gamma and so on,”.

Micron plans to integrate the 1α node across its DRAM product portfolio this year. “Our 1α DRAM technology will enable the industry’s lowest-power mobile DRAM as well as bring the benefits of our DRAM portfolio to data centre, client, consumer, industrial and automotive customers,” said Sumit Sadana, executive vice president and chief business officer at Micron.

This will be used for faster LPDDR5 operating speeds up to 6.4Gbit/s for mobile platforms with a 15 percent improvement in power savings, especially for 5G handset designs. The company currently has a 128Gbit LPDDR5 chip sampling, and this has been integrated into a module with low power NAND for 5G designs.

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