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Elpida Starts Industry's First DRAM Shipments of 25nm Process Technology

Elpida Memory, Inc., Japan's leading global supplier of Dynamic Random Access Memory (DRAM[1]), today announced that as of the end of July it had started sample shipments of the smallest chip now available in the DRAM semiconductor memory industry. The new chip uses ultra fine-width process migration technology to achieve a circuit line width of 25 nanometers (nm). Elpida completed development of this advanced manufacturing process in May and has begun to apply the process to commercial production.

The new 25nm process-generation product now being shipped is a DDR3 SDRAM with a memory capacity of 2-gigabits (see product specifications below). A 25nm 4-gigabit DDR3 SDRAM is expected to become commercially available by the end of 2011.

Elpida Uses High-k Metal Gate Technology to Develop 2-gigabit DDR2 Mobile RAM

Elpida Memory, Inc., Japan's leading global supplier of Dynamic Random Access Memory (DRAM), today announced the DRAM industry's first-ever use of high-k metal gate (HKMG) technology to develop a 2-gigabit DDR2 Mobile RAM (LPDDR2) at the 40nm-class DRAM node.

HKMG is technology that uses insulator film with a high dielectric constant (abbreviated to "high-k," a semiconductor industry measure of how much charge a material can hold) in the transistor gate to reduce current leakage and improve transistor performance. Metal gate electrodes that are required for the high-k dielectrics process are also used. Some makers of logic semiconductors have started to use HKMG, but higher heat treatment temperatures after HKMG formation and complicated DRAM structural characteristics have prevented consistent application in the DRAM fabrication process. Elpida, however, has managed to lower the heat treatment load and overcome certain memory device structural complications.

Elpida Develops Industry's First 25nm Process DRAM

Elpida Memory, Inc., Japan's leading global supplier of Dynamic Random Access Memory (DRAM), today announced it had developed a 2-gigabit DDR3 SDRAM using an industry-leading 25nm process for memory manufacturing. Using the most advanced process technology available Elpida has achieved the industry's smallest chip size for a 2-gigabit SDRAM.

The newly developed 25nm DRAM process technology requires 30% less cell area per bit compared with Elpida's 30nm process. The chip output for a 2-gigabit DDR3 SDRAM wafer using the new process is about 30% higher versus 30nm.

Elpida Develops 4-Gigabit DDR2 Mobile RAM Operating at 1.2V and 1066Mbps

Elpida Memory, Inc., Japan's leading global supplier of Dynamic Random Access Memory (DRAM), today announced that it has developed a 4-gigabit DDR2 Mobile RAMTM that employs state-of-the-art 30nm process. This new Mobile RAM features a low operating voltage of 1.2V, achieves a 1066Mbps high-speed data transfer rate, and uses roughly 30% less operating current compared with stacking two of Elpida's 40nm 2-gigabit products. Through sophisticated circuit design and advanced process technology, this product achieves the world's smallest class in chip size for a 4-gigabit LPDDR2. In addition, it is an eco-friendly DRAM equipped with a low power feature that targets mobile devices such as smart phones and tablet PCs by contributing to extended operating times of battery-powered devices.

Currently, the rapidly expanding market for smart phones and tablet PCs is striving to expand the features of its operating systems. As a result, the ideal density of DRAMs is also rapidly on the rise, and there is an increasing need for high density DRAMs – 8-gigabit for high-end smart phones and 16-gigabit for high-end tablet PCs. At the same time, there is a strong demand for smaller, thinner, and lighter DRAM packages, and attention is being focused on advanced package technologies such as Package on Package (PoP) and Multi Chip Package (MCP).

Powerchip to Become PC DRAM foundry for Elpida

Elpida Memory, Inc. and Powerchip Technology Corporation today announced that they have reached a non-binding understanding that Elpida will purchase all DRAM products that Powerchip will manufacture, including the current portion which Powerchip has been selling as Powerchip branded products. Elpida will sell those products as Elpida's house brand products. Further consultations between both companies will be held to reach an early final agreement.

Elpida currently has a foundry agreement with Powerchip for PC DRAMs and purchases half of what Powerchip manufactures at their fabs in Hsinchu, Taiwan. Powerchip currently has 80,000 wafers per month capacity for commodity DRAM production and licenses from Elpida the right to distribute the other half of the products as their own branded products. Powerchip also has a right to purchase approximately 30,000 DRAM wafers fabricated at Rexchip Electronics Corporation, a joint venture between the two companies, and sell those DRAMs to their customers as their own branded products.

Elpida Begins Sample Shipments of 30nm Process 4-Gigabyte DDR3 SO-DIMM

Elpida Memory, Inc., Japan's leading global supplier of Dynamic Random Access Memory (DRAM), today announced it has begun sample shipments of its newly developed 30nm process 4-gigabyte DDR3 SO-DIMM. The new memory module was built using currently available advanced 30nm process DRAM manufacturing technology and is composed of sixteen 2-gigabit DDR3 SDRAMs. It achieves a high density of 4 gigabytes.

Compared with Elpida's 40nm DRAM module, the new product uses 20% less operating current and 30% less standby current consumed by PC systems, and as a DRAM module it achieves one of the lowest levels of current consumption in the industry. The new eco-friendly DRAM product provide an effective power-saving response to today's need for a longer battery life for notebook PCs, netbooks, tablet PCs and other handheld electronic devices.

Elpida and Rambus Sign Patent License Agreement

Rambus Inc., one of the world’s premier technology licensing companies, today announced that it has renewed their patent license agreement with Elpida Memory, Inc., Japan’s leading global supplier of Dynamic Random Access Memory (DRAM). This agreement covers Elpida’s range of memory products including SDR, DDR, DDR2, DDR3, LPDDR, LPDDR2, GDDR3 and GDDR5 DRAM.

“We are extremely pleased to have licensed another one of the top three memory companies. This agreement continues our licensing momentum and renews a winning partnership that has produced best-in-class memory solutions for customers,” said Sharon Holt, senior vice president and general manager of the Semiconductor Business Group at Rambus. “Elpida’s customers now have the full benefit of licensed products using our patented innovations to enrich the consumer experience of electronic systems.”

Elpida Begins Sample Shipments of Industry's Smallest 2-Gigabit DDR3 SDRAM

Elpida Memory, Inc., Japan's leading global supplier of Dynamic Random Access Memory (DRAM), today announced that it had begun sample shipments of its new 2-gigabit DDR3 SDRAM (product names: EDJ2116DEBG and EDJ2108DEBG) geared for use in consumer electrical appliances. The new SDRAM is the industry's smallest 2-gigabit DDR3 that supports an x16-bit I/O interface.

The new 2-gigabit DDR3 SDRAM is well suited to consumer electrical appliances. It meets the high-speed DDR3-1600 (1600Mbps) standard likely to become the mainstream memory speed standard in 2011, uses energy-efficient 1.35V for the DDR3L-1333 memory speed and is compliant with DDR3-Plus (seamless BL4 access) for upgrading the performance of consumer electrical appliances.

Elpida Begins Sample Shipments of 32-Gigabyte LRDIMM, DRAM Industry's Highest Density

Elpida Memory, Inc., Japan's leading global supplier of Dynamic Random Access Memory (DRAM), today announced it had begun sample shipments of its new 32-gigabyte Load Reduced Dual In-Line Memory Module (LRDIMM), the DRAM industry's highest density memory module. The LRDIMM consists of 72 advanced 40nm process 4-gigabit DDR3 SDRAMs in a Double Density Package (DDP).

LRDIMM is a new standard for server memory modules that reduces I/O bus capacity by buffering the I/O bus line with the memory buffer (MB) to simultaneously enable higher system density and faster speed. JEDEC, a standardization body for the semiconductor industry, is studying the adoption of LRDIMM standards. Elpida is actively engaged in promoting its own standard.

Elpida Develops Industry's Smallest, Most Efficient 30nm Process 2-Gb DDR3 Chip

Elpida Memory, Inc., Japan's leading global supplier of Dynamic Random Access Memory (DRAM), today announced that it had completed development of a 30nm process 2-gigabit DDR3 SDRAM. The new 2-gigabit DDR3 SDRAM used 30nm-level advanced process migration technology to create the DRAM industry's smallest-level 2-gigabit DDR3 SDRAM. It achieves 45% more chips per wafer compared with Elpida's 40nm process products. Also, the new process design developed by Elpida will help contain rising chip costs associated with process migration. As a result, the 2-gigabit DDR3 is slated to become an extremely cost-competitive product.

Elpida's new chip meets the JEDEC specs for the high-speed DDR3-1866 and 1.35V low-voltage, high-speed DDR3L-1600 memory chips, both expected to become mainstream industry products in 2011. Also, the 30nm DDR3 SDRAM is eco-friendly. As a DDR3 SDRAM it achieves one of the industry's lowest levels of electric current usage (approximately 15% less operating and approximately 10% less standby usage compared with Elpida's 40nm products), which contributes to lower PC and digital consumer electronics power consumption.

Elpida and Spansion Develop 4-Gigabit Charge-Trapping NAND Flash Memory

Elpida Memory, Inc. and Spansion Inc., today announced they have created the industry's first charge-trapping 1.8 V, 4-gigabit SLC (Single Level Cell) NAND Flash memory. This NAND memory, based on Spansion's MirrorBit charge-trapping technology, is being produced at Elpida's Hiroshima factory. The advanced technical expertise and strong cooperation of the two companies has made it possible to develop and manufacture the world's first charge-trapping NAND Flash memory.

Compared to floating-gate NAND Flash memory, charge-trapping NAND Flash memory is more scalable and has a simpler cell structure. It offers superior performance, faster read and faster programming speeds.

Elpida Develops Smallest 2-Gigabit LPDDR2 Memory Chip

Elpida Memory, Inc., Japan's leading global supplier of Dynamic Random Access Memory (DRAM), today announced that it had developed a 2-gigabit DDR2 Mobile RAM, the DRAM industry's smallest LPDDR2 chip. The new DDR2 is expected to become the main product manufactured by the 40nm process line at Elpida's Hiroshima Plant (the 40nm line is currently undergoing a capacity expansion).

The new 2-gigabit DDR2 Mobile RAM was developed to target the smart phone and tablet PC markets. In addition to featuring low operating voltage of 1.2V it achieves a 1066Mpbs high-speed data transfer rate and can reach 8.5GB/second for a 64-bit system configuration. Because it uses roughly 30% less operating current compared with Elpida's existing 50nm products the new Mobile RAM is an eco-friendly DRAM that contributes to extending the operating time of mobile devices.

Elpida Completes Development of 2 Gb GDDR5 Memory Chips

Elpida Memory, Inc., Japan's leading global supplier of Dynamic Random Access Memory (DRAM), today announced that it had completed development of a high-density, high-speed, low-power consumption 50nm process 2-gigabit GDDR5 using copper interconnects (product name: EDW2032BABG). The new GDDR5, the first graphics DRAM designed by Elpida, was developed at the company's Munich Design Center in Germany.

Applications for GDDR (GDDR: Graphics Double Data Rate) memory devices used with GPU (Graphics Processing Unit) are found not only in such graphic processing equipment as game consoles and PC graphics cards but also in equipment that require high-performance computing for use in such areas as science and technology, physical simulation, digital image processing and video conversion. Using 2-gigabit GDDR5 in these applications can double the frame buffer size of each GPU compared with 1-gigabit memory products.

EU Slaps Chip Vendors with Penalties for Price-Fixing

As many as nine major chip vendors were fined a total of 331 million Euros (US $404.2 million) for participating in illegal price-fixing activities, by the European Union authorities. These include Samsung, Hynix, Nanya, Elpida, Infineon, NEC, Toshiba, Hitachi, and Mitsubishi. A 10th company in this price-fixing cartel was Micron Technology, which escaped the fine for exposing the malpractice to the EU authorities. Of these Samsung was given the single biggest fine of 146 million Euros, followed by Infineon at 57 million Euros. The fines were reduced by 10% because all companies extended cooperation in the investigations.

The price-fixing cartel mostly involved bad trade of DRAM chips, and was active between 1998 and 2002, operating with a network of contacts which secretly exchanged pricing information. They colluded to fix prices of DRAM chips sold to major PC and server manufacturers. Investigations in the scam began in 2002 when Micron blew the whistle on the cartel. "By acknowledging their participation in a cartel the companies have allowed the Commission to bring this long-running investigation to a close and to free up resources to investigate other suspected cartels," said EU's Competition Commissioner, Joaquin Almunia. "As the procedure is applied to new cases it is expected to speed up investigations significantly," he added.Source: BBC News

Elpida Completes Development of 4-Gigabit DDR3 SDRAM, Industry's Highest Density DDR3

Elpida Memory, Inc., Japan's leading global supplier of Dynamic Random Access Memory (DRAM), today announced that it had completed development of a 4-gigabit DDR3 SDRAM, the highest density DDR3 DRAM in the DRAM industry.

Based on an advanced 40nm process, the new eco-friendly DRAM uses about 30% less power compared to two 40nm process 2-gigabit DDR3 SDRAMs (4-gigabit equivalent) and enables servers, data centers and other large capacity memory systems to reduce power consumption. It can operate at not only standard DDR3 1.5V but also 1.35V to allow greater system power savings.

Elpida Begins Mass Production of 40nm 2 Gb DDR3 SDRAM

Elpida Memory, Inc., Japan's leading global supplier of Dynamic Random Access Memory (DRAM), today announced that its Hiroshima Plant has begun volume production of 40nm process 2-gigabit DDR3 SDRAMs. Since completing development of the DDR3 SDRAM last October it has taken Elpida only two months to ramp up mass production.

The new 2-gigabit DDR3 SDRAM achieves 44% more chips per wafer compared with Elpida's 50nm DDR3 SDRAM and a 100% yield for DDR3 products that operate at 1.6 Gbps, the fastest speed standard for current DDR3. It also supports high-speed products. Compared with 50nm products, it uses about two-thirds less current and supports 1.2V/1.35V operation as well as DDR3 standard 1.5V, resulting in reduced power consumption of around 50%.

Initially, Elpida plans a phased expansion of 40nm 2-gigabit DDR3 SDRAM mass production at its Hiroshima Plant. In the second quarter of 2010, 40nm process production will also begin at Rexchip, a subsidiary in Taiwan, to increase the manufacture of 40nm process products in order to lower products costs. Depending on conditions in the DRAM market, Elpida may transfer 40nm process technology to foundry partners ProMOS and Winbond to expand production based on this technology to an even higher level.Source: Elpida

Elpida Completes Development of 65nm XS Version 1-Gb DDR3 SDRAM

Elpida Memory, Inc., Japan's leading global supplier of Dynamic Random Access Memory (DRAM), today announced that it had completed development of a 65nm XS extra-shrink version 1-Gigabit DDR3 SDRAM that is as cost-competitive as 50nm process memory devices.

In response to the slump in the DRAM market that has lasted since 2008, Elpida is taking a two-track R&D approach that focuses on conventional process migration and on layout innovations that reduce the cost of capital investment. Along with migrating to advanced processes such as 50nm and 40nm the company is developing shrunken chip versions through extensive use of existing ArF dry scanner equipment. As a result, a 65nm S shrink version was developed in 2008 and now a 65nm XS extra-shrink version has been completed.

The 65nm XS is a smaller version of the already shrunken 65nm S and delivers 25% more chips per 300mm wafer compared with its predecessor. In addition to its extremely small chip size the XS shortens the manufacturing process and helps to greatly reduce equipment costs through the use of ArF dry scanner equipment. Chips costs are comparable to 50nm process products.

Elpida Ships Samples of x32-bit I/O 2-Gigabit DDR2 SDRAM

Elpida Memory, Inc., Japan's leading global supplier of Dynamic Random Access Memory (DRAM), today announced that it had begun sample shipments of a 2-gigabit x32-bit I/O DDR2 SDRAM that operates up to a high speed of 1066 Mbps. The new memory device is capable of meeting the need for 1.8V x32-bit and x16-bit I/O as well as low-voltage 1.5V x32-bit and x16-bit I/O.

Rapid advances in the image quality and functionality of digital TV, digital still cameras and other new digital consumer equipment have led to a growing need for memory that can deliver faster speeds, higher densities and wide-bit configurations. Elpida's newly developed 2-gigabit density x32-bit I/O product provides an optimal solution for these needs. Systems with a 32-bit CPU that require 2-gigabit memory density have until now had rely on a conventional 1-gigabit x16-bit I/O two-chip design. Elpida's new 2-gigabit x32-bit I/O product, however, reduces by half the number of mounted memory chips, simplifies high-speed memory bus design, conserves chip mounting space and lowers power consumption.

Elpida Completes Development of 1-Gigabit GDDR5

Elpida Memory, Inc., Japan's leading global supplier of Dynamic Random Access Memory (DRAM), today announced that it had developed a 1-gigabit GDDR5 (product name: EDW1032BABG) that operates at a world-class high speed of 6Gbps. The new graphic memory (GDDR: Graphics Double Data Rate) device marks Elpida's first successful step in the GDDR market.

Applications for GDDR memory devices used with GPU (Graphics Processing Unit) are found not only in such graphic processing equipment as game consoles and PC graphics cards but also in equipment that require high-performance computing for use in such areas as science and technology, physical simulation, digital image processing and video conversion.

Elpida and Winbond Form DRAM Manufacturing Partnership

Elpida Memory, Inc., Japan's leading global supplier of Dynamic Random Access Memory (DRAM), and Winbond Electronics Corp. today announced that they have signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) for DRAM foundry services that will see Winbond manufacture DRAMs under contract to Elpida. The outsourcing agreement is the first step of a business partnership the two companies intend to pursue further.

The agreement pertains to the supply of GDDR3 and GDDR5 graphic DRAMs for Elpida. Prior to this agreement Winbond and Elpida have been working together to commercialize GDDR3 and GDDR5 DRAM products. Winbond is preparing to begin commercial production of these products by the end of 2009 while Elpida plans to begin purchasing the output in the first half of 2010.

Elpida and ProMOS Signed Agreement for DRAM Foundry Services

Elpida Memory, Inc. and ProMOS Technologies announced today the signing of a DRAM foundry agreement. This agreement marks the beginning of mutually beneficial business cooperation.

According to the agreement, Elpida will provide advanced DRAM process and product technologies to ProMOS, while ProMOS will provide certain amount of manufacturing capacity at ProMOS' Taichung 300mm wafer fab to Elpida for the manufacturing of Elpida's advanced 1Gb DDR3 device. Trial runs will be completed in the first half of 2010, with mass production following in the second half of the same year.

Dr. M. L. Chen, President & Chairman of ProMOS Technologies, noted that Elpida has long been globally recognized as a leader in the development of leading edge DRAM technologies. The synergistic partnership built through this agreement will combine strengths from both companies; Elpida's 1Gb DDR3 device is among the most cost-competitive product in the industry, pairing well with ProMOS' strength in 300mm manufacturing. Dr. Chen further noted that through this agreement, ProMOS will be able to rapidly increase its capacity utilization rate at its Taichung 300mm facilities. With the recent turnaround in the DRAM market, ProMOS has embarked on the road to recovery.

Elpida Completes Development of the Industry's Smallest 40nm 2-gigabit DDR3 SDRAM

Elpida Memory, Inc., Japan's leading global supplier of Dynamic Random Access Memory (DRAM), today announced that it had finished development of the smallest high-speed low-power 40nm 2-gigabit DDR3 SDRAM in the DRAM industry.

The new 2-gigabit DDR3 SDRAM uses a smaller chip size to achieve a 44% higher chip yield per wafer compared with Elpida's 50nm DDR3 SDRAM and a 100% yield for DDR3 products that operate at 1.6Gbps, the highest speed standard for current DDR3. Compared with 50nm products, it uses about two-thirds less current and supports 1.2V/1.35V operation as well as DDR3 standard 1.5V, thus reducing power consumption by as much as 45%.

Apacer Also Announces Giant II DDR3 Overclocking Memory Modules for Overclocking

Apacer, one of the world's leading brands of memory modules, has announced its brand-new “Giant II DDR3 Overclocking Memory Module series” in response to the global trend of gaming economics, helping fervent gaming players build their ultra-speed gaming PC. Apacer's “Giant II DDR3 Overclocking Memory Module series” inherit the huge heatspreader design of the Giant Series and further adopt the unique “air-fall” vents for quick heat dissipation even at overclocking high temperature, maintaining great operation stability while the player can enjoy the sensational gaming experience.

Apacer's “Giant II DDR3 Overclocking Memory Module Series” selects the best-performing Elpida's 1Gbit, 128x8 particles suited for overclocking, which are screened in the triple channel test environment using the advanced test fixture and programs under diversified parameters of voltage and time sequences. Stricter than other brands' screening standards, the particles are further tested in the high temperature and high pressure environment for 72 hours to wash out unstable ones and ensure best overclocking performance and stability. The much-tested “Giant II DDR3 Overclocking Memory Module Series” has four models: DDR3-1600MHz, 1866MHz, 2000MHz, and DDR3-2133, the most stable and performing model in the market, with two capacity choices: 3GB (1GBx3) and 6GB(2GBx3), to meet the different requirements of professional players who demand ultra game performance.

Elpida Enters Graphics Memory Business

Elpida Memory, Inc., a leading global supplier of Dynamic Random Access Memory (DRAM), today announced that it reached an agreement with Germany-based Qimonda AG, which is now in insolvency proceedings, to acquire Qimonda technology licenses and a portion of the design assets related to Graphics Double Data Rate (GDDR), a memory architecture that has a high-speed data interface for graphic processing applications.

Based on the licenses and assets acquired from Qimonda, Elpida will now join the graphics DRAM business and become a memory solutions company with an expanded range of products and services.

Corsair Re-launches Dominator GT Ultra-Performance DRAM Modules

Corsair, a worldwide leader in high-performance computer memory, power supplies, and flash memory products including solid-state drives, today re-introduced the popular Dominator GT line of memory modules. These modules had been removed from the market due to unacceptable failure levels of the Elpida "Hyper" components with which the modules are constructed.

"The issue with the Hyper RAMs was discovered with the help of the enthusiast community, and we worked closely with them to solve it," stated John Beekley, VP of Applications Engineering at Corsair. "Our lab was able to correlate the failures to specific batches of early material, we worked very closely with Elpida to determine the root cause of the issue and to define the associated corrective actions to take. We are confident that every GT module using the Elpida Hyper IC Corsair ships from today will meet our strict quality and reliability standard."
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