Life-Cycle Assessment of Dynamic Random Access Memory
Dynamic random access memory (DRAM) is the most common type of volatile memory and is a component of all laptop and desktop computers. In this study, life-cycle impacts of DRAM are determined for 250, 180, 130, 90, 70, and 57 nm technology nodes, representing DRAM manufactured in large scale production from 1997 through 2008. Primary energy and water consumption, as well as global warming potential, acidification, eutrophication, ground-level ozone (smog) formation, potential human cancer and non-cancer health effects, and ecotoxicity are evaluated. The life-cycle inventory is a hybrid model, using process data for wafer fabrication and die packaging, electricity production and some chemicals. Hybrid LCA data from previous studies are used for transportation and impacts associated with the water supply infrastructure. Economic input-output LCA (EIO-LCA) data from the Carnegie Mellon database  are used for the fabrication facility and manufacturing equipment, as well as some chemicals for which process data are unavailable.
KeywordsGlobal Warming Potential Dynamic Random Access Memory Wafer Fabrication Technology Node Human Health Impact
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