Elpida begins mass production of 70nm DRAM

Company says chips for servers, cameras to become available in the first quarter of 2007

Japanese memory-chip maker Elpida Memory Inc. Monday began mass production of memory chips using a 70-nanometer production process, which offers to further reduce costs and improve performance.

Elpida is now making 1G-bit and 512M-bit DDR (double data rate 2) SDRAM (synchronous dynamic RAM) chips at Hiroshima Elpida Memory Inc., the company's main production plant. The chips are designed for a range of applications, including servers and digital cameras, and will be available during the first quarter of 2007, the company said.

Previously, Elpida used a 90-nanometer process to manufacture memory chips. Moving to a more advanced process allows the company to reduce the size of the smallest features that can be created on a chip, which means the overall size of the ship can shrink. This allows more chips to be produced on a silicon wafer and lowers unit production costs, which usually means lower chip prices for end users.

More advanced production processes generally lower power consumption and speed up chip performance.

Looking ahead, Elpida plans to begin using the 70-nanometer process to make Mobile RAM chips, memory chips that are designed for use in mobile phones and PDAs (personal digital assistants). The company did not give a date for when it expects to begin production of these chips with the more advanced process technology.

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