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(Nikkei BP Group)

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

  • NEC, ARM to Develop Memory Controller for NEC DRAMs
  • August 5, 1998 (TOKYO) -- Japan's NEC Corp. and ARM Ltd. of the United Kingdom said they have agreed to jointly develop a memory controller for the virtual-channel synchronous dynamic random access memory (DRAM) developed by NEC.
    ARM supplies many semiconductor microchip makers with microprocessor cores, called ARM cores, that have been used in mobile phones and personal digital assistants.

    The memory controller enables the connection between microchips using an ARM core and NEC's virtual-channel synchronous DRAMs, which increases the performance of the system up to 50 percent and decreases power consumption by about 30 percent, company officials said.

    ARM will supply semiconductor microchip makers and electronic design automation (EDA) vendors which have been licensed to use the ARM cores with the memory controllers to be developed jointly.

    NEC will be able to build up a product supply system through ARM for the memory controllers that are used for the synchronous DRAMs of its own standard.

    The virtual-channel synchronous DRAM is a technology to install a channel between an input-output interface and a memory cell to store data temporary. It features shorter read/write time than that of conventional DRAMs that have to read from or write on a memory cell directly. A dedicated memory controller, however, is needed to spread the use of the virtual-channel synchronous DRAMs.

    Developments that are similar to those of the virtual-channel synchronous DRAM are progressing to modify the design architecture of DRAMs.

    Fujitsu Ltd.'s FCAM is an example. It also needs a dedicated memory controller.

    The alliance between NEC and ARM could be NEC's first move to take the initiative in the future development of DRAMs.

    More information is available in English at: http://www.nec.co.jp/english/today/newsrel/9807/3001.html

    (Nikkei Microdevices)

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    Updated: Tue Aug 4 17:40:24 1998