Micron, the memory maker based out of Boise, Idaho, has completed its acquisition of Elpida, a struggling DRAM player in Tokyo. All of Elpida's equity and assets now belong to Micron, including a 300mm DRAM fabrication facility located in Hiroshima, Japan. Other notable assets include a 65 percent stake in Rexchip, which itself owns a 300mm DRAM plant in Taiwan, and 100 percent ownership interest in Akita Elpida Memory, which owns an assembly and test facility in Akita, Japan.
Mosaid Technologies, an intellectual property and technology licensing firm based out of Canada, has filed a lawsuit against DRAM makers Eplida Memory, Buffalo Inc., and Axiontech in the United States District Court for the Eastern District of Texas, Tyler Division. In the lawsuit, Mosaid accuses all three firms of infringing on six of its semiconductor memory patents.
The DRAM market is in shambles. There's really no sugar coating it at this point, and if your livelihood depends on DRAM, you may want to consider a new line of work. OCZ, which helped invent the whole enthusiast RAM market over a decade ago, saw the writing on the wall and decided to duck out of the DRAM business in time to focus on the much more profitable SSD sector. So what exactly has Eplida CEO Yukio Sakamoto smiling?
Look for low-power DDR3 modules to hit retailers before the end of the year. That's because Elpida Memory today said it has finished development of its 40nm 2-gigabit (2Gb, with a lowercase 'b') DDR3 SDRAM and will ship samples next November. Mass production is slated to begin before the end of 2009.
On the manufacturing side, Elpida's smaller 40nm chips allows the company to achieve a 44 percent higher chip yield per wafer compared to 50nm, and a 100 percent yield for DDR3 products that operate at 1.6Gbps, the company said.
Elpida claims its 40nm 2Gb DDR3 chips use about two-thirds less current and support 1.2V to 1.35V operation, in addition to the DDR3 standard 1.5V. That's about a 45 percaent reduction in power consumption, which might not sound like much for a typical home user, but could add up in a server farm.
While a handful of DDR3-2000 kits can be found in the marketplace, the industry standard remains at DDR3-1600. That might soon change, as Elpida Memory today said it has developed power-efficient DDR3 memory in 1GB densities capable of cruising at 2Gbps.
Elpida's new memory uses a 65nm manufacturing process, and the company claims its 2Gbps modules use 35 percent less operating current compared with its existing products. And for those looking to save a bit of juice while running at the industry standard 1600Mbps, Elpida's memory will oblige at just 1.35V. Timings look to be a tad on the high side, most likely the result of running lower voltages:
DDR3-2000 (11, 11, 11)
DDR3-1867 (11, 11, 11)
DDR3-1600 (9, 9, 9)
Intel, AMD, and memory manufacturers are all pushing the market towards DDR3. Are you buying?