Samsung develops 30nm DDR3 chips

The increasingly intricate world of DRAM edged another step closer to the atomic level today, as Samsung revealed that it's successfully completed customer trials of the industry’s first 2Gb 30nm DDR3 chips.

With their smaller circuits, the 30nm chips will consume less power than today’s DDR3 chips, and Samsung says that a 4GB chip based on the 30nm technology will only consume 3W in a modern laptop. The company claims that this is a power saving of over 30 per cent when compared to an equivalent 50nm DRAM chip.

As with the 40nm DDR3 chips that it launched last year, Samsung is taking advantage of the chips’ lower power consumption to jump on the green bandwagon. However, given that a saving of around 1W is a tiny fraction of the power consumed by an average computer, you would have to be running a serious DDR3-based server farm to see even a slight reduction in your running costs, or your CO2 emissions for that matter.

Power consumption aside, shrinking DRAM circuits to the 30nm level will enable Samsung to squeeze a lot more chips onto a wafer, which should result in a more efficient production process, not to mention lower DRAM costs. In fact, the firm claims that the introduction of 30nm technology “will result in a doubling of production cost-efficiency compared to DRAM produced using 50nm to 60nm-class technology.”

Samsung says it plans to have the chips in mass production in the second half of this year. The 30nm DRAM chips will be available on various types of module, including those for servers, laptops, desktops and mobile devices. The company also says that it sees DDR3 SDRAM "becoming the predominant main memory" in the first quarter of this year.