Micron to make 1-gamma DRAMs in Japan, Taiwan

Micron to make 1-gamma DRAMs in Japan, Taiwan

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By Peter Clarke

Micron has said it will spend 500 billion yen (about US$3.6 billion) over the next few years bringing 1γ (1-gamma) DRAM process technology to its wafer fab in Hiroshima, Japan.

However, it has also been reported that that Micron will mass produce 1γ (1-gamma) DRAMs first in Taiwan. The company installed extreme ultraviolet (EUV) lithography production equipment in its A3 fab in Taichung last year.

Micron has avoided the use of extreme ultraviolet lithography (EUVL) for the previous five generations of DRAM manufacturing process referred to as 1x-nm, 1y-nm, 1z-nm, 1α-nm and 1β.

Micron said it will be the first semiconductor company to bring EUV technology to Japan for production, with its Hiroshima fab playing a critical role in the development of the company’s 1γ (1-gamma) node. The company said it expects to ramp EUV into production on the 1γ (1-gamma) node in Taiwan and Japan from 2025 onwards.

“We are proud to be the first to use EUV in Japan and to be developing and manufacturing 1-gamma at our Hiroshima fab. Our plans reflect our continued commitment to Japan, strong relationship with the Japanese government and the exceptional talent of our Micron Hiroshima team,” said Sanjay Mehrotra, CEO of Micron, in a statement.

Japan helps Micron, Micron helps Japan

In recent years, Japan’s Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry (METI) has provided investment support to Micron’s manufacturing (see Japan will provide Micron with $320 million subsidy and Micron plans for $7 billion Japanese DRAM fab).

“Micron is the only company that manufactures DRAM in Japan and is critical to setting the pace for not only the global DRAM industry but our developing semiconductor ecosystem,” said Satoshi Nohara, Director-General of the Commerce and Information Policy Bureau within METI. “We are pleased to see our collaboration with Micron take root in Hiroshima with state-of-the-art EUV to be introduced on Japanese soil. This will not only deepen and advance the talent and infrastructure of our semiconductor ecosystem, it will also unlock exponential growth and opportunity for our digital economy.”

Micron began sampling 1β DRAMS to smartphone manufacturers in November 2022 (see Micron ships 1β DRAMs made without EUV). The company has now started shipping LPDDR5X-format DRAMs made in the 1β process at Hiroshima to industrial, automotive and consumer customers across Asia, the US and Europe.

Micron has a substantial R&D program in Taiwan which remains unchanged, according to reports. Micron has fabs at Taoyuan from Micron’s acquisition of Taiwanese DRAM maker Inotera Memories Inc. in 2016, and a fab in Taichung from the acquisition of DRAM maker, Rexchip Electronics Corp. in 2012.

Related links and articles:

News articles:

Japan will provide Micron with $320 million subsidy

Micron plans for $7 billion Japanese DRAM fab

Micron hit with ban on sales into Chinese ‘critical infrastructure’

Micron ships 1β DRAMs made without EUV

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