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Nanya Technology, a major memory chip maker from Taiwan, has showcased during a conference its first DDR3 memory modules for PCs and said that it would ramp up the DDR3 dynamic random access memory (DRAM) manufacturing in 2008. By demonstrating the DDR3 products, Nanya becomes the world’s fourth memory maker in the DDR3 club after Elpida, Infineon and Samsung.

At the SemiTech Taipei 2006 conference, Nanya showcased its PC3-8500 1GB DDR3 unbuffered dual in-line memory module (DIMM) that utilized 512Mb 1066MHz chips and came in 240-pin form-factor, a news-story at DigiTimes web-site claims. While the product was showcased as a passive component, e.g., it did not function in a machine, as there are no memory controllers that support DDR3 now, the demonstration emphasizes that Nanya is getting ready for the forthcoming DDR3 transition. Customers of the company will reportedly receive DDR3 samples in the second half of the year.

According to Nanya’s vice president of global sales and marketing Pei-lin Pai, current DDR3 chips are produced using 90nm process technology, but, according to his estimations, when DDR3 enters “the phase of mass adoption” in 2008, such devices will be manufactured using 70nm fabrication process.

While Nanya is known for close cooperation with Infineon Technologies’ memory arm Qimonda, it seems that Nanya’s DDR3 devices were developed in-house, as they are produced using 90nm fabrication process, whereas Infineon has been sampling 80nm DDR3 products for about 10 months now.

DDR3 memory is designed to increase performance and lower power consumption of DDR2 memory utilized today. The new memory standard features relatively low operating voltage of 1.5V, 8-bit pre-fetch architecture (compared to 4-bit pre-fetch buffer with DDR2), on-die termination (ODT), power-saving modes known as PASR (partial array self refresh) and ASR (auto self refresh) and some other capabilities. The memory will be able to operate at up to 1600MHz, but in the exchange for enhanced latencies of CAS (column address strobe) 5 to 10 (compared to CAS 3-6 on DDR2).

Intel Corp., the world’s main pusher of new memory technologies, is expected to introduce its first chipset for personal computers that supports DDR3 memory in the second half of 2007.


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