As for the DRAM realm, there was the statement from Inotera, Infineon’s Taiwanese daughter, that it was ready to begin mass production of 90nm DRAM chips. Infineon will of course be the first to receive the outcome.
Meanwhile, ProMOS with its new strategic partner Hynix are already busy developing 65nm technologies in order not to depend on the same Infineon that ProMOS had earlier licensed its current 110nm process from. But like Inotera, ProMOS will begin its 90nm production this year, having obtained the appropriate technology from Hynix.
The Koreans themselves are feeling well enough, reporting profits for a third quarter in a row: $320 millions in Q1 with sales amounting to $1.27 billions. Hynix says the profit might have been even better if it hadn’t been for the weak US dollar…
Hynix’s neighbors shouldn’t care about profits at all, having one third of the world’s DRAM market. Samsung with its production and sales volumes will be O.k. in any situation. That’s why the Korean giant can spend some time butting each other with Elpida over who’s going to supply 512Mb XDR memory for the perspective Sony PlayStation 3. In May, both the companies declared their plans on mass production of such chips, and Samsung caught up with Elpida by showing the samples.
It so happens that both these companies, Elpida and Samsung, are Rambus’s key partners. Thus, they are equals in this competition. Being a supplier of RDRAM for the first PlayStation, Toshiba may join the quarrel, too. This company is also going to carry on its partnership with Sony as a supplier of chips for the new game console. At least, Toshiba had long ago announced its intention to take up XDR manufacture seriously. So, that looks like a curious collision, and I wonder what’s going to come of it. So far Samsung seems to be on the winning side as it offers 4.8GHz 90nm chips against Elpida’s 4GHz 100nm ones.