TechInsights has confirmed that Micron's latest D1β LPDDR5 16 Gb DRAM chips are being used in the Apple iPhone 15 Pro, marking the industry's first foray into the D1β generation. These chips are smaller and denser than previous versions, representing significant advancements in DRAM technology. It is noteworthy that Micron has achieved this without relying on Extreme Ultraviolet Lithography (EUVL), a technique used by competitors such as Samsung and SK Hynix in their DRAM processes. This achievement showcases Micron's commitment to pushing the boundaries of DRAM technology, emphasizing innovation and efficiency in the tech industry. The groundbreaking D1β LPDDR5 16 Gb DRAM chip from Micron promises to reshape the future of memory technology and set a new standard for the industry.
Micron's D1β fabrication process utilizes their 2nd generation high-K metal gate (HKMG) technology, which increases the bit density of a 16Gb memory die by 35% and improves power efficiency by 15% compared to a similar DRAM device made on their previous 1α node. This advancement is made possible through pitch multiplication, achieved without the need for EUV Lithography. Micron's use of proprietary multi-patterning lithography allows for the creation of intricate circuit patterns on semiconductor wafers with exceptional precision. This approach enables higher memory capacity in a smaller footprint, allowing billions of memory cells to fit on a chip roughly the size of a fingernail.
While the semiconductor industry has been transitioning to EUV Lithography to overcome certain technical challenges, Micron has chosen to rely on its multi-patterning lithography approach. This decision highlights Micron's expertise and innovation in lithography techniques, which allows them to continue reducing circuit features and achieving greater memory capacity without relying on EUVL, which is still considered an emerging technology.
Using proprietary multi-patterning lithography not only reduces the cost per bit of data but also enables devices like smartphones and IoT devices to incorporate more memory into compact spaces. This approach demonstrates Micron's commitment to ongoing memory technology innovation and staying at the forefront of the industry.
Additionally, Micron has recently announced that they have begun shipping QS-sample LPDDR5X components, developed on the new 1-beta DRAM process node, to their smartphone customers. This development shows Micron's dedication to emerging technologies and their effort to continue pushing the boundaries of memory technology. Thy Tran, Vice President of DRAM Process Integration at Micron, discussed these advancements on the Chips Out Loud Podcast, highlighting the emergent technology and Micron's role in it.