Samsung, Hynix Ahead in Chip Nanotechnology
Samsung Electronics and Hynix Semiconductor are surging ahead in adopting thinner nanotechnology for chip production.
Samsung Electronics has just begun mass-producing two-gigabit double data rate 3 chips or DDR3 by using 40-nanometer-class processing technology, the industry's first.
"This will set the pace for a new standard in premium, eco-friendly dynamic random access memory (DRAM) chip solutions," Samsung spokesman Kim Choon-gon said, Tuesday.
Hynix, which trails the industry leader Samsung in DRAMs, also expects its DDR3 chips to take up about 50 percent of the company's total PC chip production by the end of the year.
"Manufacturing DDR3 chips using 50-nanometer-class process technology reduces manufacturing costs by up to 30 percent compared with using less-advanced 60- and 70-nanometer technology," Hynix spokesman Park Hyun said.
Hynix will switch to 40-nanometer technology later this year.
Samsung and Hynix are the only mass producers of DDR3 chips, though Samsung goes one step further in applying the advanced 40 nanometer technology.
"Other DRAM makers are in the process of introducing it or relying on older generation 60- or 70-nanometer technolgy," Citigrup said in a note to clients.
According to market research firm iSuppli, the portion of DDR3 chip will account for 82 percent of the total global DRAM market by 2012, up from about 20 percent at present.
The two-gigabit DDR3 chip is likely to become the mainstream DDR3 DRAM product by 2010, globally, as the industry's two leaders are fully set to promote the higher storage chips.
"That's why Samsung and Hynix are distancing themselves from their overseas rivals," Prudential Investment said.
Samsung said its operating profit for the second quarter will rise to 2.6 trillion won thanks to higher chip prices.