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(Nikkei BP Group)

(No.1 High-Tech News Site in Japanese)

  • Output of D-RDRAMs to Comprise 8.8 Pct. of DRAMs in 1999
  • March 1, 1999 (TOKYO) — Global production of Direct Rambus dynamic random access memory (D-RDRAM) chips will account for about 8.8 percent of all DRAMs in 1999, according to a survey conducted by Nikkei Market Access, an IT data provider.
    D-RDRAMs are a type of next-generation, high-speed DRAM microchip.

    The worldwide production of D-RDRAM chips *1) in 1999 will be equivalent to about 186 million units of 64Mb DRAMs *2), which will account for about 8.8 percent of total DRAM chips produced in the year, according to Nikkei Market Access.

    The ratio is expected to exceed 30 percent in 2000, and to surpass 50 percent in 2001.

    DRAMs have shifted from fast page mode DRAMs to extended data output (EDO) DRAMs to synchronous DRAMs. Next, D-RDRAM chips are expected to become the mainstream type.

    Samsung Electronics Co., Ltd. of Korea will likely produce about 30 percent of all D-RDRAM chips calculated in terms of bits, and will rank first. Micron Technology Inc. of the United States and LG Semicon Co., Ltd. of Korea will likely tie for second, with 18 percent shares. Toshiba Corp. and NEC Corp. will follow.

    All of the major companies are positive in their outlooks for manufacturing D-RDRAM chips. Demand for D-RDRAM chips from leading PC makers will exceed the production level. Due to the expected shortage, Intel Corp. of the United States is providing funds to Micron Technology and Samsung Electronics to help increase their output of D-RDRAM microchips.

    Today, 64Mb or 72Mb D-RDRAM chips are the principal devices. However, 128Mb or 144Mb chips are expected to account for more than half of the total production of D-RDRAMs in the fourth quarter of 1999. Many makers have started producing 128Mb or 144Mb D-RDRAM chips, thereby skipping the production of 64Mb or 72Mb D-RDRAM chips.

    The introduction of D-RDRAM chips with large storage capacities is being accelerated due to high packaging costs.

    The packaging costs of D-RDRAM chips are greater than those of conventional DRAM chips, which pushes up costs per bit of D-RDRAM chips. The bit cost can be reduced by making devices with larger storage capacities.

    In its survey, Nikkei Market Access projected that a swift transition will occur from 144Mb devices to 288Mb devices. New generations of DRAM chips are emerging at ever quicker paces.

    *1) The D-RDRAM chip is a new memory device conforming to a high-speed data transfer mode developed by Rambus Inc. of the United States. Its transfer rate is 1.2 Gbps or 1.6 Gbps.

    Intel has decided to use the D-RDRAM chip as the main memory for personal computers. Intel will start shipping a chipset with the required peripheral circuits from 1999. At first, the chipset will be used for high-end PCs with Pentium III microprocessors. (return to news)

    2*) Among chips now on the market are 64Mb, 74Mb, 128Mb and 144Mb D-RDRAM chips. As for the calculation in terms of 64Mb D-RDRAM units, each 64Mb D-RDRAM device or 74Mb D-RDRAM device was counted as a 64Mb D-RDAM unit, and each 128Mb D-RDRAM device or 144Mb D-RDRAM device was counted as two 64Mb D-RDRAM units. (return to news)

    Related story:
    ¥ U.S. PC Makers Show Interest in NEC’s High-Speed DRAMs
    ¥ Intel to Invest US$100M in Samsung Electronics
    ¥ DRAM Output in 1999 to Rise 54.5 Pct.; Micron to Lead in 64Mb Chips

    Nikkei Market Access)

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