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Hynix Semiconductor, LG Electronics, Samsung Electronics and Silicon Image have announced the formation of an industry consortium that promotes Serial Port Memory Technology (SPMT) for broad market adoption as an industry standard. SPMT will be a dynamic random access memory (DRAM) tech initially targeting the mobile handset market.

“Serial Port Memory Technology will represent a big step forward by offering mobile handset designers the ability to expand their horizon for a new generation of products,” said Jim Venable, chief technology evangelist of SPMT LLC, the entity chartered with managing the day-to-day activities of administering the SPMT specification.

The SPMT Consortium’s founding members form the governing body of the organization and are, together with contributor members, responsible for developing the SPMT specification which should feature:

  • Pin count reduction by a minimum of 40% compared to existing DRAM technologies;
  • Flexible bandwidth ranging from 200MB/s to 12.6GB/s and higher;
  • Single or multiple port configurations connecting to a single SPMT-enabled memory chip

As future generations of handsets take on more functions typically seen in laptops, and as the line between cell phones and handheld media-intensive devices blur, new memory architectures will be required to handle demands for ever greater bandwidth while keeping power low and cost down. Rambus, a developer of memory and interconnection technologies, also started to create its own memory technology designed specifically for low-power devices. The company hopes to create 32-bit DRAMs that would work at 4.30GHz and deliver 17.2GB/s of bandwidth.

“Successful solutions for mobile products need to deliver increased functionality and features while still providing extended battery life,” said JB Kim, senior vice president of memory products at Hynix Semiconductor.

Unlike proprietary memory solutions, SMPT will not require third-party adopters of the SPMT specification to pay royalties to the SPMT consortium on any products resulting from the implementation of the specification. The SPMT consortium will assess an annual fee from all adopters to help fund the marketing, administration and licensing activities of the consortium.

“We are looking forward to contributing our high-speed serial technology and expertise to the SPMT specification. As new applications like high-definition 1080p video become a reality in the mobile handset market, advanced memory technology will be required to make such features a reality and SPMT is well positioned to lead that market segment,” said Eric Almgren, vice president of business development and intellectual property licensing at Silicon Image.

Tags: SPMT, DRAM, Samsung, Hynix, Silicon Image, LG

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