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Cypress moves 9Mb dual-port RAM into production

Posted: 12 Apr 2002 ?? ?Print Version ?Bookmark and Share

Keywords:cy7c0853v? dual port ram? 9mb ram? san ram? 3g basestation ram?

Cypress Semiconductor Corp. said it has started volume production of a 9Mb dual-port RAM that the company calls the highest density memory of its kind.

Cypress has expanded its position in the specialty memory market over the last few years to go against rival Integrated Device Technology Inc. The 9Mb dual-ports are aimed at SANs and 3G cellular basestations, markets that continue to grow even though demand for related networking and communications equipment remains stalled, the company said.

High-end RAID systems, for example, can use up to 16 switching cards, each requiring up to eight dual-port devices to act as a scratch-pad memory for multiple processing units. Similarly, 3G basestations use multiple digital signal processors that can share dual-port memory devices, said Richard Quon, marketing manager for specialty memory devices at Cypress.

Cypress said that the 9Mb devices have "true" dual-port capability because they can access a single 36Mb word through two ports simultaneously over multiple clock domains. An alternative approach is to split the banks into 144Kb chunks, but this approach doesn't allow the banks to be accessed simultaneously and can be too restrictive, Quon said.

Based on 0.165m process design rules, the CY7C0853V device features a 256Kword-by-36 organization, employs 3.3V LVTTL I/O and runs at 133MHz. In terms of clock speed, the 9Mb device runs slower than the company's earlier 150MHz 4Mb dual-port devices due to its larger memory array, which increases signal delays across the chip.

Cypress is also developing a 20Mb dual-port part that will use 0.125m design rules and run at 167MHz, Quon said. That devices is scheduled for introduction next year.

Priced at $98 each in 10,000-unit quantities, the 9Mb CY7C0853V is not cheap. One reason for the price premium is the device's use of a larger eight-transistor cell structure, versus a conventional SRAM's six-transistor cell, to allow each cell of the device to be accessed through two ports. The dual-port also carries extra parity bits for data reliability.

Larger memory manufacturers have so far not entered the market for dual-port memories, which last year generated $250 million in sales, according to Cypress. The market is on track to double in three years, Quon said.

"Cypress and IDT have a stranglehold on this market," he said. "It's more of a niche, but it's a profitable market."

Anthony Cataldo

EE Times

Cypress Semiconductor Corp. is an exhibitor at the 7th annual International IC ? China Conference and Exhibition (IIC-China), which is co-located with the 2nd Embedded Systems Conferences ? China (ESC-China). The final leg of the conferences will be held on April 15 and 16 in Shenzhen. IIC-China and ESC-China are organized by eMedia Asia Ltd, a Global Sources and CMP Media joint venture.





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