The 1a process follows the 1x, 1y and 1z processes in order and are all classified as being below 20nm in minimum geometry. It is assumed that the processes are of decreasing scale but SK Hynix does not reveal the exact geometry for commercial reasons and in any case the minimum geometry is arbitrary. The key parameters are line width and pitch of repetition across the die.
SK Hynix said it plans to start supplying the memory to smartphone manufacturers in the 2H21.
SK Hynix adopted EUV partially for its 1y-nm DRAM production but opted not to use it at the 1z-nm production node, presumably for reasons of cost (see Micron overtakes DRAM competition, avoids EUV ).
SK Hynix said plans to use EUV technology for production of all its 1a-nm DRAM products as it has proved the stability of the process and it will allow a 25 percent increase in the number of die on a 300mm-diameter wafer compared with the 1z-nm process.
The memory operates transfers memory at 4266Mbps, the fastest transfer rate in a standard LPDDR4 mobile DRAM specification, and has reduced power consumption by 20 percent. The company said it would apply the 1a-nm process to DDR5 DRAMs now due to be supplied from early in 2022.
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