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Hynix tips DRAM process roadmap to 60nm

Posted: 06 Oct 2005 ?? ?Print Version ?Bookmark and Share

Keywords:hynix? semiconductor? dram? 60nm? tiva?

Hynix Semiconductor Inc. outlined its aggressive DRAM process roadmap to keep pace with its rivals, including the development of a 60-nm technology called "Tiva."

For some time, the South Korean memory maker has been shipping double-date-rate (DDR) SDRAMs based on its so-called "Golden Chip" and "Diamond Chip" process technologies. "Golden Chip" is a 0.11-micron technology that has been in production since 2003, while "Diamond Chip" is a 90-nm process.

Hynix (Seoul) is also quietly developing two new and aggressive DRAM process technologies: "Nova" and "Tiva." Products based on the new DRAM processes will reportedly be shipped from Hynix' 300-mm fab, dubbed M10, located in Icheon, South Korea.

"Nova" is a 70-nm technology that claims to have a gate-length width of 80-nm. Like its previous processes, Hynix will use 193-nm "dry" scanners from ASML Holding NV and atomic layer deposition (ALD) equipment for capacitor scaling applications, according to company officials.

Hynix' DDR SDRAM products based on the "Nova" process are currently sampling, but the official did not elaborate on the specific product types. Some speculate the company is developing high-speed, DDR-2 SDRAMs with the technology.

Following the "Nova" process, Hynix is expected to ship products based on its "Tiva" technology. "Tiva" is a 60-nm process with a gate-length width of 66-nm, according to Hynix.

Hynix is also sampling parts based on the "Tiva" process, but mass production is not slated until next year. Like "Nova," "Tiva" makes use of 193-nm "dry" scanners and ALD.

The company is pushing hard in process technology for good reason. The fiercely contested horse race in the DRAM market resembled a trot during the second quarter as Hynix edged Micron Technology Inc. for second place behind Samsung Electronics Co. Ltd., as all three saw sales decline, according to iSuppli Corp.

According to iSuppli, Hynix reported DRAM revenue of $939 million in the second quarter, down 13 percent from $1.08 billion in the first quarter. This translates to a 16.4 percent market share, down from 16.5 percent in the first quarter.

In process technology, Hynix remains "a little bit behind Samsung," according to the Hynix official.

Separately, Hynix recently disclosed an aggressive product roadmap to mass produce NAND-based flash memory. Hynix is quietly readying its first 70-nm NAND-based flash devices, including an advanced 16-gigabit chip.

Meanwhile, Japan's Toshiba Corp. this week filed a complaint with the U.S. International Trade Commission (ITC) against Hynix over alleged patent infringement in the flash-memory sector, according to the Associated Press.

- Mark LaPedus

EE Times





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