A Samsung president who heads the company’s memory business says collaboration between the material, component and fab equipment sectors is required for innovation in microchip fabrication.
Samsung president Lee Jung-bae, who is also the chairman of Korea Semiconductor Industry Association, was speaking at Semiconductor Exhibition (SEDEX 2021) tradeshow hosted by the association at COEX.
Lee said the COVID-19 pandemic changed our lives within two years and caused digital transformations in autonomous vehicles, data centers and AI sectors, which is causing an explosion in data usage.
The amount of data needed to be processed was increasing by over 10 times per year but the speed of development semiconductors in its old pace was insufficient to catch up to this, the president said.
Developers’ hard work and innovations have continued to overcome the limitations of microchip fabrication, he said.
However, more obstacles are expected to present themselves in the future and the whole industry needs to put in efforts to overcome them, Lee said.
In terms of logic, the development of process nodes has continued through 7-nanometer (nm) to 3nm and the industry was developing 2nm at the current time, the president said.
However, for chips under 1nm, it will take time to secure the necessary technology, Lee said.
Making chips smaller were taking longer and costs per area were increasing, and these problems required solutions quickly, he said.
The pace of process shifts in DRAM was also slowing down than before and there need to be solutions for companies to secure under 10nm process nodes, the said.
The NAND sector innovated by coming up with V-NAND, but there also needs new innovations for over 1,000-layer NAND flashes, he added.
Memory has also become not only storage but at the center of data processing thanks to technologies like processor-in-memory, he said.