At a recent earnings conference call with investors and financial analysts, Micron expressed confidence in its long-term future and strong demand for its products. The company also outlined plans to expand capacity and quickly moved to more advanced process technologies. .
Micron said, "We believe that driven by a wide range of long-term trends such as artificial intelligence, autonomous vehicles, 5G and the Internet of Things, the long-term demand for memory and storage is eye-catching," said San Diego Mehtra, CEO of Micron. Sanjay Mehrotra) said. “Micron is ready to take advantage of these trends, innovative products, a responsive supply chain and build relationships with customers around the world.”
DRAM prices have fallen sharply in recent quarters due to supply exceeding demand. In order to reduce costs and prepare for the emergence of new memory applications, DRAM manufacturers are actively turning to newer process technologies. At the same time, while acknowledging that they need to balance the supply and demand of DRAM, they have actually developed aggressive capacity expansion plans because they need more cleanrooms for the upcoming manufacturing technology.
Micron has a positive roadmap for manufacturing processes and now has four additional 10 nanometer nodes (a total of six 10 nanometer technologies), and the company is studying the final transition to extreme ultraviolet lithography (EUVL). Micron is also expanding its production capacity to produce next-generation memories for next-generation applications, namely 32GB memory modules for consumer and 64GB DIMMs for servers.
Earlier this month, we reported Micron's 16GbDDR4 memory chip, which was produced using the company's second-generation 10nm manufacturing process (also known as 1Ynm). These DRAM chips are already in use in the 32GB DDR4 memory modules of ADATA and IntelRound, and these products will be available soon.
As early as April, in order to cope with the increasing demand for DRAM and new process technology, the new clean room of Micron Storage Taiwan (formerly Rex Opto Semiconductors) broke ground.
Micron Storage (Taiwan) has already built DRAM products using Micron's first generation of 10 nanometer manufacturing technology (also known as 1Xnm), and will enter the 3rd generation 10 nanometer process (aka 1Znm) in the near future. At the same time, Micron opened a new test and packaging facility near Taichung last year, creating one of the world's only vertically integrated DRAM production facilities.
In addition, Micron announced plans to invest $2 billion in a new clean room at a public facility near Hiroshima, Japan. According to reports, the new capacity will be used to manufacture DRAM for Micron's 13nm process technology.
In general, Micron will have multiple 10 nanometer nodes. In addition to the first and second generation 10 nanometer process technologies currently in use, Micron also plans to introduce at least four 10 nanometer manufacturing processes: 1Z, 1α, 1β and 1γ.
Currently, Micron is producing a second-generation 10nm manufacturing process (ie 1Ynm), including the company's 12GbLPDDR4X and 16Gb DDR4 memory devices.
The company's next-generation 1Znm is currently approved by customers (ie, they are testing various chips produced using the process) and is expected to be announced in the near future to produce 16GbLPDDR5 memory devices and DDR5 memory devices.
Following the 1Znm node, Micron plans to start using its 1αnm manufacturing technology to achieve higher yields, which means it is in the late stages of development. This is followed by a 1βnm manufacturing process, which is also in the early stages of development.
Micron did not say whether it would enter EUV directly after the 1γnm process. The company is evaluating ASML's TwinscanNXE step-scan function and other equipment needed to produce it using EUV lithography, and is evaluating when these tools can be used to make DRAM.