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December 08, 2010

Intel will build 450mm fab and Samsung using 3D chips for more energy efficient memory

1. Samsung announced the development of an eight gigabyte (GB) registered dual inline memory module based on its advanced Green DDR3 DRAM. The new memory module, which has just been successfully tested by major Samsung customers, delivers superior performance, in particular because of its use of a three-dimensional (3D) chip stacking technology referred to as ‘through silicon via' (TSV).

An 8GB RDIMM utilizing Samsung’s 3D TSV technology saves up to 40 percent of the power consumed by a conventional RDIMM. Also, the TSV technology allows for a dramatic improvement in memory chip density that is expected to offset the decrease of memory sockets in next generation server systems. In the face of a 30 percent decrease in memory slots in next-generation servers, the TSV technology will be able to raise the DRAM density by more than 50 percent, making it highly attractive for high-density, high-performance server systems.

Increasingly widespread adoption of the 3D TSV technology is expected to take place from 2012. Samsung plans to apply the higher performance and lower power features of its TSV technology to 30nm-class* and finer process nodes.

One of Ray Kurzweil's predictions for around 2009 was that 3D chips would be common.



2. EETimes reports that Intel Corp. confirmed that its new fab in the United States is being constructed for the 450-mm wafer era.

Intel will build a new R&D wafer fab in Hillsboro, Ore., and upgrade other existing U.S. facilities for 22-nm production at a total investment of between $6 billion and $8 billion.

The new development fab in Oregon, to be known as D1X, is slated for R&D startup in 2013.

The 450-mm activity is heating up. ''I was surprised to see that that it’s just not the SIT consortia (Samsung, Intel, and Toshiba) that are now getting behind this technology. For the first time, I heard chip executives outside these three move from a position of never to 'not a question of if, but when,' '' said G. Dan Hutcheson, CEO of VLSI Research Inc., in a recent report. ''Right now, more than 90 percent of the equipment supply base is involved in some form of 450-mm development, though most these still hold public positions of never.''

Still, there’s a lot of work to be done in the 450-mm tool arena, he said. 450-mm fabs could appear in 2018-at the earliest, he added.
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