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Elpida, Intermolecular grow R&D partnership

Posted: 08 Nov 2010 ?? ?Print Version ?Bookmark and Share

Keywords:R&D? manufacturing process? DRAM?

Elpida, Hynix and Micron are racing each other to take second place in the 30nm-class DRAM sweepstakes. In September, Elpida claimed it had completed the development of a 30nm-class 2-Gbit, DDR3 SDRAM. Elpida plans to begin sample shipments in December of 2010.

Hynix Semiconductor Inc. is showing a 30nm-class DDR3 device, with shipments due in the first half of 2011. Micron Technology Inc. has yet to announce its 30nm-class DRAM product.

To ensure the efficient transfer of newly developed technologies into high-volume manufacturing, Elpida is still making use of the technologies at Intermolecular's site in San Jose. The teams are collaborating closely with Elpida's production tool suppliers and its 300mm fab in Hiroshima, Japan.

"Over the past few years, Intermolecular's HPC technology and team members have become an important component of our DRAM R&D capability," said Hideki Gomi, director and chief technology officer of Elpida. "We have seen new materials and processes move from early stage development into volume production with remarkable speed, and with significantly lower costs than would have been achieved in a more-traditional R&D model."

Intermolecular is working with other customers, but it has not disclosed the identities of its partners. The company is working with a number of chipmakers, including flash vendors and the world's ''two largest foundries,'' Lazovsky said.

Fast-growing Intermolecular is also hiring, expanding into a new building and entering new markets like solar. Demand for its services is ''beyond our expectations'' in 2010, he said in a recent interview.

- Mark LaPedus
EE Times

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