RealTime IT News

Samsung Declares Breakthrough in SRAM

Saying it has broken new ground in memory chips, Samsung Electronics Tuesday said it has developed the world's fastest Double Data Rate (DDR3) SRAM .

The South Korea-based manufacturer said its new 72Mb memory controller runs at 1.5 Gb per second. Last week, Samsung said it is also working on 4GByte DDR Dual In-line Memory Modules (DIMM). Mass production of both chips is expected in the second half of 2003.

The company said developing the 0.79 um cell - which is less than a millionth of a meter square area - was achieved using conventional Krypton Flouride (KrF) laser lithography processing technology. Samsung said its new DDR3 SRAM also requires only 1.2Volts for low-power consumption.

The chips will be produced at its new $1.2 billion chip making factory expansion plant south of Seoul.

While DRAM supports access times of about 60 nanoseconds, SRAM can give access times as low as 10 nanoseconds. In addition, its cycle time is much shorter than that of DRAM because it does not need to pause between accesses. Unfortunately, it is also much more expensive to produce than DRAM. Due to its high cost, SRAM is often used only as a memory cache.

Samsung said the new DDR3 SRAM is targeted for high-end servers and workstations.

The company's profitability in the chip market is an anomaly. Samsung's two main competitors in the memory chip market are Micron Technology and South Korea's Hynix Semiconductor have been suffering large losses, both have posted massive quarterly losses over the past two years.

Questions also remain about demand in 2003 for both semiconductors and mobile phone handset markets. Chip sales fell by one third in 2001, but have recovered to grow by an unspectacular 1.4 percent in 2002, according to research firm Dataquest. Forecasts for 2003 predict growth of between 5 percent and 10 percent.

Samsung said it would reveal its findings in a paper at the International Solid-State Circuits Conference in San Francisco next month.