SEOUL – Samsung Electronics has started to operate fully on a semiconductor line that exploits a new technique to double the productivity of manufacturing sophisticated memory chips, the first redesign of production technology in two decades.
Samsung announced Wednesday that it has deployed extreme ultraviolet lithography at a DRAM factory in Hwaseong, a city near the company’s headquarters in Seoul. The group is the first to use the technology for mass production of memory chips.
The Hwaseong site shipped 1 million units of dynamic random access memory, with millions more to follow. Extreme ultraviolet lithography, or EUV lithography, will be used in another factory in the nearby town of Pyeongtaek by the end of the year.
In the early 2000s, Samsung adopted argon fluoride lasers, which are now widely used in photolithography devices. But with increasingly detailed and detailed circuits, these lasers are approaching the end of their useful life.
Turning to extreme ultraviolet lithography, Samsung takes the lead in mass production of high-end semiconductors.
National competitor SK Hynix plans to install EUV equipment in a DRAM line next year. The company is the second largest producer of memory chips behind Samsung.
Although Samsung is the first to adopt the new process for memory chips, Intel and Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Co. are already using the technique to produce processors and other processors.
ASML, the Dutch maker of chip manufacturing devices, supplies EUV lithography machines, with a single unit, for more than $ 100 million. Samsung is looking to use its deep pockets to gain a technological advantage over its rivals.