Elpida Memory, Japan's only supplier of dynamic random access memory (DRAM), has announced that it had completed development of a 65nm XS extra-shrink version 1Gb DDR3 SDRAM that is as cost-competitive as 50nm process memory devices.
The 65nm XS is a smaller version of the already shrunken 65nm S and delivers 25% more chips per 300mm wafer compared with its predecessor. In addition to its extremely small chip size the XS shortens the manufacturing process and helps to greatly reduce equipment costs through the use of ArF dry scanner equipment. Chips costs are comparable to 50nm process products.
The new process technology allows Elpida and its manufacturing partners to make more affordable DRAM chips using older equipment.
In response to the slump in the DRAM market that has lasted since 2008, Elpida is taking a two-track R&D approach that focuses on conventional process migration and on layout innovations that reduce the cost of capital investment. Along with migrating to advanced processes such as 50nm and 40nm the company is developing shrunken chip versions through extensive use of existing ArF dry scanner equipment. As a result, a 65nm S shrink version was developed in 2008 and now a 65nm XS extra-shrink version has been completed.
The new 65nm XS version 1Gb DDR3 SDRAM will target the PC and server DRAM market. Mass production is scheduled to begin in the first quarter of 2010.