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AMD and VIA validate DDR SDRAM modules

Posted: 16 May 2001 ?? ?Print Version ?Bookmark and Share

Keywords:ddr? sdram? pc133? 226a? nanya?

Nanya Technology Corp.'s bid to ride a mass migration to double data-rate (DDR) memory this year has gotten a boost from Advanced Micro Devices Inc. and via Technologies Inc., which have validated Nanya's DDR SDRAM modules. But with spot memory prices dropping below $2 for the 64Mb density, Nanya is banking on a third-quarter (Q3) recovery in demand to keep the production schedule for its ambitious 12-inch fab on track for 2003.

Smart Modular Technologies Inc. has validated Nanya's PC2100 128MB modules, the DDR266A, for use with the VIA Apollo Pro266 and amd 760 chipsets. Smart Modular has also validated Nanya's 128Mb and 256Mb discrete DDR memories.

The AMD and VIA chipsets let system designers incorporate DDR SDRAM into their computers to support system bandwidth to 2.1GBps. Nanya currently ships DDR 200, 266B and 266A devices in 128Mb and 256Mb densities. It is also shipping 128MB, 256MB and 512MB unbuffered and registered DIMMs at speeds that support PC1600/2100, CL2 and CL3.

As Nanya gears up to leverage DDR penetration of the server market, the company claims it is already shipping PC2100 modules featuring DDR 266A SDRAMs in volume. It plans to ramp to 10 million 128Mb-equivalent units per month in the third quarter and 15 million units by year-end, said Ken Hurley, president of subsidiary Nanya Technology USA. "We believe we are the first ones out who can get a high yield at 266A," he said.

"We are achieving above 80 percent yields with the DDR 226A for both 128Mb and 256Mb devices," said Steve Wang, director of product marketing for Nanya. "We can achieve the highest density at the fastest speed and are already shipping product in mass production."

'The new standard'

DDR claims about a 5 percent share of the world market, but the segment is relatively lucrative. Nanya is banking on DDR's migrating into up to 30 percent of PC desktops by year's end and into about 50 percent by mid-2001, Hurley said.

"The server market is proving the highest-growth market, but DDR will really start up from Q4; it will be the new standard. AMD and VIA are going great guns," he said, and Nanya sees "a great market in Taiwan."

Becoming a DDR leader is vital for Nanya, which failed to make money on PC133 and extended-data-out RAM, said Bert McComas, an analyst with Inquest Market Research. "They know they cannot afford to miss this product ramp, and they know they have to spend their money on DDR," he said.

Nanya may push out its 300mm fab if DRAM prices do not recover in the second half. "We will put the shell in under the assumption there is recovery, but if we go into Q3 with no signs of a recovery then we will delay the fab," Hurley said.

? Paul Kallender

EE Times

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