DDR5 Release Date Looms as Samsung Plans 2021 Mass Production

Samsung is going extreme ultra violet for DDR5.

While the best RAM has been on DDR4 for quite some time now, that doesn’t mean that the spec’s development has halted. Now, advancements have come far enough for DDR5 to come peeking around the corner, as Samsung is readying DDR5 for volume production in 2021. Manufacturing will take place in a new, second fab in Pyeongtaek, South Korea, Samsung announced today. 

The new DDR5 DRAM from Samsung is based on the EUV (extreme ultraviolet) production process. Samsung also announced today that it shipped its first million DDR4 modules built with EUV.

“With the production of our new EUV-based DRAM, we are demonstrating our full commitment toward providing revolutionary DRAM solutions in support of our global IT customers,” said Jung-bae Lee, executive VP of DRAM Product & Technology at Samsung. “This major advancement underscores how we will continue contributing to global IT innovation through the timely development of leading-edge process technologies and next-generation memory products for the premium memory market.”

EUV differs from today’s traditional lithographic methods in that it uses extreme ultraviolet light that has a much shorter wavelength. This allows the building of even smaller electronics and is more efficient in production. Samsung estimates that with EUV DDR5, manufacturing productivity will be doubled on its 12-inch D1a wafers compared to the older D1x wafers.

“EUV technology reduces repetitive steps in multi-patterning and improves patterning accuracy, enabling enhanced performance and greater yields as well as shortened development time” Samsung explained. 

Samsung didn’t provide further detail about what we can expect from DDR5. The standard, released in 2019, has a bandwidth of 32 GBps, but we still don’t know when any consumer CPUs will come out that support DDR5.