Credit: ShutterstockSamsung has been revealing new memory products at a steady pace over the last few months. It added one more to the list with today’s announcement that it’s made what it claims is the industry’s first third-generation, 10nm-class (1z-nm) 8Gb DDR4 DRAM.
For background, 10nm-class represents 10-19nm. Here’s why that matters: Samsung wants to prepare for “an accelerated global IT transition to next-generation DRAM interfaces, such as DDR5, LPDDR5 and GDDR6.” 1z-nm is said to enable that by offering an increase to manufacturing productivity over the previous generation of 10nm-class 8Gb DDR4 of more than 20 percent.
The company plans to start mass producing 1z-nm 8Gb DDR4 memory by the later half of 2019 “to accommodate next-generation enterprise servers and high-end PCs expected to be launched in 2020.” Samsung will also increase production at its Pyeongtaek, South Korea site to “meet the rising demand for state-of-the-art DRAM products.”
It’s not clear where exactly that demand is supposed to come from. DRAMeXchange reported earlier this month that DRAM prices dropped nearly 30 percent over the current quarter–the “sharpest decline in a single season since 2011”–and that it expected such drops to continue until memory companies worked through their oversupply.
DRAMeXchange had also said that Samsung would open a second fab in Pyeongtaek, though, so the company’s announcement that it would “increase the portion of its main memory production” at the site doesn’t come as a complete shock. Even though the company had previously said it would slow production to keep prices stable.
Samsung said that it’s working with “a CPU manufacturer” to validate 8GB DDR4 modules using 1z-nm DRAM. Once that’s done, it will be “actively collaborating with global customers to deliver an array of upcoming memory solutions.” It also plans to expand 1z-nm with higher capacities and better performance in the future.
This announcement comes after Samsung showed off its first DDR5 product in February, announced that it’s mass producing its first embedded magnetic random access memory (eMRAM) product in March and revealed its new Flashbolt High Bandwidh Memory (HBM) at Nvidia’s GPU Technology Conference (GTC) on March 20.