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Powerchip returns to DRAM market

Posted: 02 May 2011 ?? ?Print Version ?Bookmark and Share

Keywords:Powerchip? DRAM business? Elpida mobile? commodity DRAM products?

After taking a brief three-month break, Powerchip Technology Corp. declared that it has revived its DRAM business.

Deciding to concentrate on the foundry business, the Taiwan-based company left the commodity DRAM market in January 2011 and handed the business over to Japan's Elpida Memory Inc.

Now, Powerchip has updated its current business model. Japan's Elpida has agreed for Powerchip to acquire Elpida's mobile DRAM technology and sales rights for the products. Elpida will continue to develop, sell and make mobile DRAM.

As before, Elpida will purchase all commodity DRAM products that Powerchip will manufacture, including the current portion which Powerchip has been selling as Powerchip branded products. Elpida will sell those products as Elpida's house brand products.

Combining self-developed NAND technology, Powerchip said it ''is able to address the rapidly growing mobile application market, providing a complete memory product portfolio.''

Powerchip will also allocate 50 percent of its 300mm wafer capacity to a wafer foundry by yearend.

As expected, Elpida announced that it will commence ''full-scale mass production'' of 30nm process DRAM in May 2011. Elpida completed development of advanced 30nm process DRAM in September 2010 and started shipping 2Gb samples to customers in December of the same year.

Elpida will mass produce the 30nm process DRAM at its 300mm Hiroshima plant in Japan as well as at Taiwan-based Rexchip Electronics Corp.

Mass production of 30nm 2Gb DDR3 SDRAM for PC applications will start in May 2011, followed by 4Gb DDR2 mobile RAM and 4Gb DDR3 SDRAM. Elpida's Hiroshima fab will devote 20 percent of its production capacity to manufacturing the new 30nm process DRAM in the second quarter. It will be ramped up to 30 percent in the third quarter.

Rexchip will start manufacturing 30nm process DRAM in the third quarter.

Taiwan DRAM rival Nanya Technology Corp. has also entered the mobile RAM market. The company shipped its 8Gb LPDDR2 devices using four 2Gb chips in a quad die package (QDP)reportedly based on designs from its partner, Micron Technology Inc.

- Mark LaPedus
??EE Times

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