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Troubled memory maker Hynix Semiconductor today unveiled its own small form-factor DDR2 memory modules for use in notebook computers. The company anticipates beginning mass-production of such components already in the second quarter of the year, quarter ahead of appropriate platforms for mobile PCs.

Hynix manufacturers its 1GB SO-DIMM devices with DRAMs made using 0.11 micron process technology. Given that the majority of notebooks are made in Taiwan, where there are no countervailing duties imposed for the memory maker, the company is likely to sell this kind of products without problems.

“1GB DDR2 SO-DIMM, supporting 400 and 533MHz, were developed to meet the projected DDR2 demand for notebook applications in second half of this year,” the company said in its statement.

Intel’s first mainstream notebook platform with DDR2 support is expected to emerge sometime in the second half of 2004, some sources point out Q4 launch. Besides the DDR2 memory, the code-named Alviso core-logic – the base for the next-generation Intel Centrino “Sonoma” Platform – will bring PCI Express and Serial ATA-150 to mobile PCs.

Despite of pretty cautious projections in regards DDR2 ramp in desktops, notebook sector may vow for DDR2, as the technology brings lower power consumption and heat-dissipation compared to DDR, features that are more important than pure performance when it comes to notebooks.

“The newly launched Hynix is planning to begin mass production of 1GB DDR2 SODIMM next quarter to coincide with the release of Intel DDR2 chipset,” the Seoul, Korea-based memory maker said.

Besides Hynix Semiconductor, its competitor Micron Technology also said late last year that it would produce DDR2 memories for laptops in the second half of 2004. Although mobile devices are little bit more tricky to produce, products for mobile computers usually have higher profit margin than solutions intended for desktop PCs. Bearing in mind that the market of notebooks is growing rapidly, while the market of desktop PCs is stagnating, it certainly makes sense to aggressively penetrate the market of notebooks. Early mass production typically ensures that products will be tested and certified by system manufacturers and will be deployed right when there is demand.


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