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1Gbit mobile DRAM, CMOS sensors aimed at cellphones

Posted: 16 Apr 2007 ?? ?Print Version ?Bookmark and Share

Keywords:CMOS image sensors for camera-based cellphones? 1Gbit mobile DRAM for mobile phones?

Micron Technology Inc. has introduced a new line of CMOS image sensors for camera-based cellphones, as well as what it claims is the industry's 'first' 1Gbit mobile DRAM for multifeatured handsets to be based on a 78nm technology. Aside from the standalone memory, Micron will also bundle the 1Gbit mobile DRAM with a NAND flash memory in a new multichip-package (MCP) solution.

On the sensor front, Micron will release a trio of CMOS imagers based on a tiny, 1.75?m-pixel design technology. The sensors come in three resolutions: 1.3-, 3- and 5Mpixels. Previously, Micron offered those resolutions in a 2.2?m-pixel design.

The CMOS image sensors target small-form-factor camera phones, said Sandor Barna, director of strategy and planning for Micron's Imaging Group. With the 1.75?m-pixel design, "you are getting better resolution on the camera phone," he said.

The products join Micron's previously announced 8Mpixel image sensor, also developed on the 1.75?m-pixel design technology. That product is intended for standalone digital cameras.

The 1.3Mpixel device, dubbed the MT9M113, is an integrated camera-on-chip that fits into a 1/11inch optical format. The sensor also captures VGA video at 30fps. Meanwhile, the 3Mpixel product, called the MT9T013, fits into the standard 1/4inch optical format and captures VGA video at 30fps.

The high-end, 5Mpixel line, the MT9P012, fits into a 1/3.2inch optical format and captures video at 60fps at 720p resolution and 30fps at 1,080p for high-definition video capture.

General customer sampling for the 5Mpixel and 3Mpixel sensors is planned for Q2. Mass production of the 1.3Mpixel sensor is expected in Q3.

Multifeatured handsets
Meanwhile, Micron's standalone 1Gbit mobile DRAM for high-end, multifeatured cellphones with multimedia and computing capabilities is based on the same 78nm process as the company's 1Gbit DDR1 part for the mainstream desktop market. But the new part is tuned for low-power applications, said Bill Lauer, director of marketing at Micron. "The biggest market for the device is handsets," Lauer said.

The mobile DRAM product features the company's Endur-IC technology, which leverages an advanced stacked process for low-power applications.

The company's DRAM devices for desktop applications run at 2.5V and 3.3V. In comparison, the new DDR1 device runs at 1.8V, Lauer said. "In the future, we will have a DDR2 part for the mobile market," he said.

Besides offering the device as a standalone part, Micron will also bundle the DRAM with 1-, 2- and 4Gbit-density NAND flash memory. The bundled MCP device consists of two stacked dice that consume less real estate for cellphone apps, Lauer said.

Micron is already sampling the 1Gbit mobile DRAM. Mass production of the product is slated in Q3. The company will sample the 1Gbit mobile DRAM with the 1Gbit NAND MCP in Q2, and its 2- and 4Gbit NAND MCPs in Q3.

- Mark LaPedus
EE Times

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