Hwang Chang-gyu, former Samsung Electronics Chip Head
By Kim Yoo-chul
Samsung Electronics, the world's biggest memory chip supplier, has dropped its use of ``Hwang's Law,'' coined by former head of Samsung Electronics Semiconductor Business Hwang Chang-gyu in 2002, which stated that memory density doubles every year.
By developing the world's first 64-gigabit NAND flash memory chip last year, Samsung proved the validity of the law for the eighth straight year.
``To prove the theory for nine straight years, we developed three-dimensional cell stack technology, which eventually will improve productivity by 30 percent. But we will not be using this technology for new chips,'' a Samsung spokesman said Thursday.
Hwang's Law replaced ``Moore's Law,'' which was derived from the 1965 observation by Intel co-founder Gordon Moore that the computing power of chips doubles roughly every two years.
Speculation has been high that Samsung has faced a technology limit in expanding its chip density as the operational stability of those produced by a less than 30-nanometer level of technology isn't guaranteed.
``Personally, there was a consensus among chip experts that Hwang's Law would eventually be phased out for technological reasons. Thanks to the weak market, Samsung found a good excuse,'' a Samsung insider told The Korea Times.
``What's important is to boost production capacity with existing chip technologies rather than holding a kind of show-off event, as time is very crucial in beat out rivals,'' the spokesman added.
``NAND flash memory manufacturers have suffered losses and so there's no reason to show-off our newer chip technology for the time being.''
NAND chips are components that retain stored information when a device's power is turned off, in contrast to conventional dynamic random access memory (DRAM) chips, which perform computations but only when supplied with power. Flash memory chips are used in digital cameras and cell phones.