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  • Mitsubishi to Ship Samples of 72Mb Direct Rambus DRAMs
  • October 7, 1998 (SAN FRANCISCO) -- Mitsubishi Electronics America Inc.'s Electronic Device Group will soon ship samples of 72Mb Direct Rambus DRAMs, as well as 72MB and 144MB RIMM modules.
    The 72Mb Direct Rambus DRAM is the first in a line of Mitsubishi memory devices that will feature the Rambus technology for high-bandwidth memory interfacing.

    The new microchip uses a 0.25-micron process technology. It is designed for main memory applications in high-performance desktop PCs. Later the microchip will be utilized for main memory applications in workstations, servers and notebook PCs, according to Mitsubishi Electronics America.

    Sample pricing for the 72Mb discrete IC is US$45 each, the company said. Sample pricing for the 72MB RIMM module is US$400 and that for the 144MB RIMM is US$800. Samples of the discrete IC will be available in November and both RIMM modules will be available in December.

    Among the other companies that are supporting Direct Rambus DRAM technology are Intel Corp., Compaq Computer Corp., Dell Computer Corp. and various large producers of semiconductors and computer systems.

    Mitsubishi Electronics America's 72Mb Rambus device has a 400MHz external clock, and a maximum data transfer rate of 800Mbps per data pin, the company said. At this rate, a single Direct RDRAM device is capable of storing or reading out the complete works of William Shakespeare at 200 times a second.

    "These Direct RDRAMs have a great shot at dominating main memory for multiple computer market segments," said Cecil Conkle, assistant vice president of Mitsubishi Electronics America's DRAM marketing group.

    "The high-speed interface, with backing from industry leaders such as Intel, Compaq and Dell, as well as the stable supply by Mitsubishi and other major Direct RDRAM suppliers, sets the stage for computer system developers to make the transition to this new and advanced DRAM type," Conkle added.

    Direct Rambus DRAMs increase peak bandwidth by eight times as compared with conventional PC100 synchronous DRAMs (SDRAMs). The new devices are capable of writing or reading data on both the rising and falling clock edges of each clock cycle.

    Direct RDRAM devices are capable of performing at a total data bandwidth of 1.6GB/s, utilizing a 128-bit internal data bus. They feature a reduced voltage swing as compared with standard synchronous DRAMs.

    Actual production will begin in January 1999, and manufacturing is expected to be increased substantially in the second quarter of 1999, if market demand is sufficiently strong.

    Intel's technology roadmap for its next-generation microprocessor relies on Direct RDRAMs to attain a new level of memory subsystem performance. Implementation of that roadmap starts in 1999. The RIMM unit integrates several ICs on a single module, to allow Direct RDRAMs to be employed in basic system configurations and memory upgrades.

    "Direct RDRAM suppliers and other key companies responsible for industry infrastructure are putting all the necessary pieces in place to support the production of these devices," said Victor de Dios, president of de Dios & Associates, a market research firm specializing in DRAMs. "These devices can overtake PC100 synchronous DRAMs as the main memory choice for PCs in the second half of 2000."

    (Neil Davis, Asia BizTech Correspondent)

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    Updated: Tue Oct 6 14:33:46 1998 PDT