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Samsung, Hynix partner on next-gen memory R&D

Posted: 25 Jan 2008 ?? ?Print Version ?Bookmark and Share

Keywords:R&D? memory chip? flash?

South Korean memory chip manufacturers Samsung and Hynix have partnered to jointly invest about $9.4 million in state-supported R&D program to acquire the necessary technologies to make next-generation memory chips, according to a report from

The South Korea Ministry of Commerce, Industry and Energy disclosed that under the three-stage plan, which began in 2004 and runs until July 2011, about $55.3 million will be spent to design and build next-generation chips as spin torque transfer magnetic RAM (STT-MRAM) and various non-volatile memory devices.

The government will invest $29.9 million of the total cost, targeting to use the technologies developed to grab 40 percent of the non-volatile memory market by 2012. Both Samsung and Hynix will invest their shares this year and in 2009.

The ministry added that the chips promise new potential for electronic devices as manufacturers could overcome the current 40nm integration ceiling of flash memory units.

Ministry head of semiconductor and display division Cha Dong-hyung commented that the cooperation achieved is the first since local companies partnered to make 64Mbit DRAMs in the 1990s. He added that both companies plan to regularly exchange information on technological gain, cross-examine and evaluate advances their advances as part of the joint R&D effort.

He said Samsung and Hynix plan to regularly exchange information on technological gains and cross examine and evaluate advances made by the two companies as part of their joint R&D effort.

Right move
According to experts the cooperation between the two South Korea memory makers is vital since Japan's Toshiba, NEC and Fujitsu have also joined forces to spend about $28 million from 2006 to 2010 to develop STT-MRAM.

Cha explained that since South Korea was a late started in the memory arena, local companies pay millions every year to companies like Intel and Toshiba that hold patents on DRAM and NAND flash. Through the R&D efforts, the government expects local companies could develop and hold patents to technologies for future chips and avoid paying royalties.

Meanwhile, both Samsung and Hynix agreed to buy patent rights for the development of polymer RAM, resistant RAM and chalcogenide RAM that were developed with state support.

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