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Micron Technology, a leading producer of dynamic random access memory (DRAM), recently announced that it would start to mass produce DDR2 memory using 68nm fabrication process early next year and DDR3 in the second half of the year. The new fabrication process will allow Micron to reduce the manufacturing costs of DDR2 and also release memory chips compliant to PC3-12800 (DDR3 1600MHz) specification.

The first breed of chips that will take advantage of 68nm process technology at Micron will be mainstream 1Gb DDR2 chips, which now have die size of just 56mm², thanks to new fabrication process along with Micron’s 6F² technology, the company indicated. Mass production of its new 68nm 1 Gb DDR2 products is expected to begin early next year. Clock-speed of the new memory chips is unclear.

DDR3 and other low-power DRAM products made using 68nm fabrication process are expected to follow DDR2 in the second half of the year 2008. Upcoming DDR3 products developed on the new process will allow for speeds up to 1600MHz. The 68nm process also provides approximately 20% lower power consumption when compared to previous process generations, said Micron.

While Samsung Electronics, the world’s leading producer of DRAM, has been using 50nm process technology to make DDR2 memory, Micron is the first maker of memory chips to announce DDR3 at 1600MHz. Usually memory module producers pick up the best chips validated to work at lower clock-speeds, e.g., 1333MHz, and set them operating at 1600MHz

Future DDR3 chips designed on the 68nm process will join Micron’s Aspen Memory family of energy-efficient products, which are specifically designed for applications where power reduction is desired such as data center servers and notebook computers.

“Micron continues leading the world in development of advanced memory technology. Our 68nm process technology offers our customers best-in-class die sizes, power and speed benefits for their most demanding applications,” said Brian Shirley, vice president of Micron’s memory group.

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