Market analysts forecast that DRAM revenues will increase by more than 70 percent this year compared with last year. Meanwhile, work habits have changed in the wake of the recession, with greater numbers of people working remotely. That increases the burden on corporate servers, which must combine high memory capacity with high power efficiency.
The upshot, according to market watchers, will be a higher adoption rate for DDR3 memory going forward. Some market intelligence groups are even predicting a shortage of DDR3 devices this year and into 2011.
Micron Technology Inc. is well positioned to take advantage of the expanding DDR3 market. The company recently introduced a 4x node with a 2-Gbit DDR3 SDRAM, which UBM TechInsights has analyzed in detail.
Introducing a new technology node in DRAM within a year of the previous one is indeed a big achievement, especially below the 5x node, where advanced lithography techniques begin to consume a disproportionate percentage of the budget. Manufacturers must pursue a careful balance of process costs, tool sets and their retrofits, defect inspection strategies, and design rules.
Successful scaling requires that DRAM manufacturers continuously:
• look to reduce operating expenses and maintain cost-competitive manufacturing sites;
• invest in R&D and increase their intellectual property portfolios; and
• extend existing process technologies or introduce new processes that can be extended to future nodes.
Micron has been implementing these three principles successfully.