Samsung Electronics, supplier of advanced semiconductor memory technology, today announced a new business strategy for its Memory Business Division. At a press conference in Seoul, Korea, Samsung introduced a state-of-the-art 90-nanometer process technology along with the successful pilot production of a 2Gbit NAND Flash memory device utilizing the 90-nanometer design.
The NAND Flash memory is a storage device for digital appliances such as digital cameras, game consoles and digital camcorders which have experienced explosive growth rate which has more that doubled in the last two years. The size of a thumbnail, Samsung is promoting high-density 2Gbit NAND Flash memory as a standard solution for mobile handsets. The NAND Flash memory can be set in a 4GByte memory card to store data equivalent to 70 CDs or 40 minutes of DVD quality video data.
NAND Flash memory is replacing camera films, floppy disk drives and even small-density hard disk drives, propelling the introduction of mobile and multimedia functions in IT related electronic appliances. Samsung plans to expand production volume of this non-volatile memory device in its 300mm fab slated for operation in the second half of 2003 to support the explosive growth expected in the near future. The company forecasts the global Flash memory market to reach 8billionUS$ in 2002and grow to 14billionUS$ by 2005.
The cutting-edge process technology announced at the press conference will also be implemented in the coming 300mm fabrication plant, line 12. In addition to manufacturing high-density Flash memories, Samsung will produce 512Mbit and 1Gbit DRAMs on the 90-nanaometer scale. Samsung offers the industry’s first successful 90 nanometer working die, which doubles production efficiency against the 0.12-micron process. According to Dataquest, the 512Mbit and 1Gbit DRAM will account for 12.2billionUS$ and 3.3billionUS$ respectively in 2005.
The 90-nanometer process technology minimizes investment costs by fully utilizing current manufacturing facilities. In the future, this technology will be applied to building next-generation, 70-nanometer design technology. Planarization process technology is utilized, thereby benefiting from the early introduction of merged devices, known as Fusion memory. Fusion, which combines high performance DRAM, low-power SRAM, non-volatile Flash memory and logic circuitry, is the new definition of a merged memory.
Dr. Chang Gyu Hwang, president of Samsung Electronics Memory Division shared his view on the future application market. ²Demand for memory is expanding beyond the traditional PC platform to next-generation mobile devices, gaming products, digital TV and networking systems which require higher performance memory,² he said. ³As a result, Samsung is devoting more resources to develop memory solutions that boost system functionality in tomorrow’s communication devices and digital appliances.²
The fast growing IT industry and digital electronics industry triggers development in the component market. Today, dynamic changes have called for a new paradigm and a new phase of explosive growth is expected in digital consumer applications by 2005. Samsung dubbed this new foresight ³ The New Memory Growth Theory². The memory technology will face a new order that doubles the density every 12 months and to realize such aggressive demands the industry should speed up the introduction of cutting edge process technology, new materials and new concept devices such as the Fusion memory. The NAND Flash memory fits into this theory. The initial mass production of the recent generations, 256Mb in 2000, 512Mb in 2001 and 1Gb in 2002, match the growth rate as the density has doubled in just one year.
In addition, Samsung unveiled plans to establish a 300mm dedicated production facility, line 12. The new manufacturing technology has been taken though each stage of evaluation. Its successful test production in line 11 equips the company with the right operational know-how and experience. With the timely implementation of the new facility, which is slated for full operation in the third quarter of 2003, Samsung anticipates maximum efficiencies in mass production.
During the recent downturn in the PC driven DRAM market, Samsung has maintained a profitable business through a tightly controlled value added product mix. High performance DDR SDRAMs, RDRAMs and Graphics DRAMs take up 70 percent of its DRAM portion, greatly reducing dependence on the volatile PC end. Samsung now intensifies its product strategy by exploring new markets of high potential in memory demand. As a result, 35 percent of memory sales are generated from the blooming mobile and digital appliance markets.
The new business strategy will boost the company to new heights as a memory solution creator. Samsung forecasts its memory revenues to reach 14billion US$ in 2005 and amount to 25billion by 2010.