Samsung is the first to start selling DRAM modules that were manufactured using EUV lithography. After successful customer evaluations, the first one million 10nm-class DDR4 modules have been shipped recently. It will take another year, however, before EUV production will be in full swing. Samsung expects to commence production of EUV-based DDR5 and LPDDR5 modules in 2021.
Memory production is a game of throughput, and initially, ASML’s EUV scanners were simply not productive enough for cost-effective DRAM manufacturing. That balance changed when the ‘EUV workhorse’, the NXE:3400C, was introduced after an accelerated development track. Taking the throughput from 155 to 170 wafers per hour, along with availability improvements, the economics for DRAM became favorable.
ASML received its first EUV orders from DRAM manufacturers in Q2 last year.