Tuesday, March 23rd 2021

SK Hynix Envisions the Future: 600-Layer 3D NAND and EUV-made DRAM

On March 22nd, the CEO of SK Hynix, Seok-Hee Lee, gave a keynote speech to the IEEE International Reliability Physics Symposium (IRPS) and shared with experts a part of its plan for the future of SK Hynix products. The CEO took the stage and delivered some conceptual technologies that the company is working on right now. At the center of the show, two distinct products stood out - 3D NAND and DRAM. So far, the company has believed that its 3D NAND scaling was very limited and that it can push up to 500 layers sometime in the future before the limit is reached. However, according to the latest research, SK Hynix will be able to produce 600-layer 3D NAND technology in the distant future.

So far, the company has managed to manufacture and sample 512Gb 176-layer 3D NAND chips, so the 600-layer solutions are still far away. Nonetheless, it is a possibility that we are looking at. Before we reach that layer number, there are various problems needed to be solved so the technology can work. According to SK Hynix, "the company introduced the atomic layer deposition (ALD) technology to further improve the cell property of efficiently storing electric charges and exporting them when needed, while developing technology to maintain uniform electric charges over a certain amount through the innovation of dielectric materials. In addition to this, to solve film stress issues, the mechanical stress levels of films is controlled and the cell oxide-nitride (ON) material is being optimized. To deal with the interference phenomenon between cells and charge loss that occur when more cells are stacked at a limited height, SK Hynix developed the isolated-charge trap nitride (isolated-CTN) structure to enhance reliability."
When it comes to DRAM, the company is looking to overcome some very interesting problems. By using extreme ultraviolet (EUV) lithography, the company can solve the limitation of patterning on non-EUV processes. Things are looking very bright and the process should get below 10 nm easily. To keep the cell capacitance in check, SK Hynix is trying to refine the dielectric thickness and develop new materials with high dielectric constant. All of those capacitive cells need to interconnect, and to get as low resistance as possible, the company is working on the next-generation electrode and insulating materials.

However, this is not everything that the South Korean company has to work on. The CEO talked about the convergence of memory and logic, with the current industry trend being just that. So far, we have seen processing near memory, like we see with chips with HBM stacked just next to it; processing in memory, where the processor is present with memory in a single package. But, SK Hynix wants to use a new approach of computing in-memory concept, where the memory is capable of performing computation by itself. Applications such as AI and machine learning would benefit the most, along with other uses we think of in the meantime. What we will end up with is not known, as the company only showcased a concept, so the final products are still a few years away.
Source: SK Hynix
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13 Comments on SK Hynix Envisions the Future: 600-Layer 3D NAND and EUV-made DRAM

#1
lynx29
Isn't the world running out of sand? How exactly do they plan to make all this silicon stuff 15 years from now?
Posted on Reply
#2
TheoneandonlyMrK
lynx29Isn't the world running out of sand? How exactly do they plan to make all this silicon stuff 15 years from now?
Good question, I expect they hope someone will find some more though plus procurement isn't normally on the mind of scientists, designers etc, that's purchasings job and management.
I worked at a place that hammered all the walls with they're patents, as a kind of art,. I loved it, great read but I sware they're was an Aire of comedy to it too.
Like ,
patent A a pipe
Patent B a pipe In a pipe(not pipe could be banana)
Patent C a pipe in a pipe in a pipe ( not necessarily a pipe, could be a banana)

All with diagrams.
Posted on Reply
#3
Wirko
Why is DRAM not manufactured in layers? I can't even find a reference to any company researching the technology to do that.

(The dies are usually stacked, that's obvious, but I mean layers similar to those in NAND.)
Posted on Reply
#4
R-T-B
WirkoWhy is DRAM not manufactured in layers? I can't even find a reference to any company researching the technology to do that.

(The dies are usually stacked, that's obvious, but I mean layers similar to those in NAND.)
Because reducing node size has no drawbacks really in DRAM. It has longevity drawbacks in NAND, hence them wanting to stack and fallback to older nodes.
Posted on Reply
#5
mechtech
TheoneandonlyMrKGood question, I expect they hope someone will find some more though plus procurement isn't normally on the mind of scientists, designers etc, that's purchasings job and management.
I worked at a place that hammered all the walls with they're patents, as a kind of art,. I loved it, great read but I sware they're was an Aire of comedy to it too.
Like ,
patent A a pipe
Patent B a pipe In a pipe(not pipe could be banana)
Patent C a pipe in a pipe in a pipe ( not necessarily a pipe, could be a banana)

All with diagrams.
I wonder with Apple is like that
-a smooth curve
-a smooth curve with a radius on it
-a smooth curve with a radius on a radius on it ;)
Posted on Reply
#6
Nuckles56
lynx29Isn't the world running out of sand? How exactly do they plan to make all this silicon stuff 15 years from now?
The world isn't running out of sand per say, it is running out of highly pure silica sands (where all the feldspar, rutile etc has been lost from it), which is what is needed for production of silicon
Posted on Reply
#7
lynx29
Nuckles56The world isn't running out of sand per say, it is running out of highly pure silica sands (where all the feldspar, rutile etc has been lost from it), which is what is needed for production of silicon
ok so my question still stands. lol
Posted on Reply
#10
Caring1
lynx29Isn't the world running out of sand? How exactly do they plan to make all this silicon stuff 15 years from now?
The real question is what will replace silicon.
Posted on Reply
#11
lynx29
Caring1The real question is what will replace silicon.
I don't know enough about how CPU's work to ponder that... as just someone who understand basic stuff I still don't understand why we can't have vanta black carbon nano-tubes - with flashes of light sending the 0's and 1's, and the software will simply read the light if it's a 0 or 1, and boom infinite power CPU that requires less wattage than LED light bulb.

but again, i know that must be impossible, as I have no idea how it all works. otherwise someone would have done it by now.
Posted on Reply
#12
Isaac`
W
Caring1The real question is what will replace silicon.
we are gonna need a replacment for silicon anyway no matter if we run out of it
Silicon is a substrate it cant just keep getting better intel and and nvidea are already dam well pushing that performance wall
eventually it will be fully impossible to get any more performance out a silicon chip and then we need a replacement
Posted on Reply
#13
yotano211
Caring1The real question is what will replace silicon.
Silicon will never be replaced, its the perferred material of most sex workers.
Posted on Reply
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