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Elpida Memory, a Japan-based memory maker who controls about 6.5% of the whole market, said Tuesday it initiated sampling of DDR2 DRAM devices operating at 800MHz, the world’s highest speed-bin so far. The firm plans to establish commercial supplies of appropriate chips as early as in May, which is likely to boost the company’s profitability.

Elpida’s 256Mb DDR2 devices that are rated to function at 800MHz are organized as 8M words x 8-bits x 4 banks and 4M words x 16-bits x 4 banks and are available in 60-ball FBGA (EDE2508ABSE) and 84-ball FBGA (EDE2516ABSE) packaging respectively. The devices operate with 1.85V voltage and with a burst length of 4, 8 and CAS Latency (CL) of 5.

Elpida’s 256Mb x8-bit DDR2 SDRAM device is currently sampling to customers. The x16-bit device samples will be available in early April, 2005. Volume production for both devices is expected in May 2005.

The devices underwent evaluation and have gained the support of several Taiwanese module manufacturers, including A-Data Technology and Transcend Information Inc.

Overclockers, computer enthusiasts who set their PCs to work faster than they are intended to, are likely to adopt the high-speed DDR2 memory in the second half of the year when Intel and mainboard makers deliver the new platforms based on 945P/G and 955X chipsets that officially support DDR2 667MHz memory. Given that 733MHz – or the so-called PC2-5900 which were recently showcased – is only a slight overclock from 667MHz, it may be expected that leading makers of memory modules will introduce DDR2 memory clocked at 800MHz or even more. Given that such memory chips are rather expensive, the forefront position of Elpida may give the company a boost in profitability.

Elpida uses its 100nm (0.10 micron) process technology to manufacture its high-speed DDR2 products.

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