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Denali Memory Report - February 2002
 

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    Denali Memory Report - February 2002 Denali Memory Report - February 2002 Document Transcript

    • February 2002 - Volume 1, Issue 1 Market Analysis and Trends in the Semiconductor Memory Industry Denali Memory Report The Denali Memory Report is produced and distributed by Denali Software, Inc. This monthly publication provides trends, analysis, and news in the semiconductor memory industry. The Denali Memory Report is one component of Denali’s Memory Research Services (DRS), and is designed to provide practical and unbiased analysis of the memory market including: . Industry overviews . Vendor profiles . Alliances and second sources . Pricing outlooks . Supply assurance . Technology roadmaps . Custom analysis The Denali Research Service is intended to be synergistic with other products from Denali which include high-speed memory controller IP, and verification IP for memories and memory systems. For more information about these and other Denali products please contact info@denali.com or visit www.denali.com. For information about the Denali Memory Report or content herein, please contact us at: research@denali.com. In This Issue: MEMORY INDUSTRY UPDATE 2 Market Bottoms; Recovery Trajectory Uncertain 2 Research and Development Spending on Memory Holds Up 3 Darwin’s Survival of the Fittest is the Law for Memory Makers 4 Double Data Rate DRAMs Shipments Shift Into Overdrive 4 SRAMs Are Devouring Companies They Once Fed Lavishly 5 Even Flash Failed to Find a Way Around the Memory Malaise 5 Design Starts Dropping Suggests Better Not More New Projects 6 Has the Pricing Rollercoaster Hit Bottom? If Not, When? FEATURE ARTICLES 7 Infineon Making RLDRAM Available Accelerates the Race to Higher Speed DRAM 8 STMicroelectronics Sets its Eyes on a Flash Memory Prize That Other Giants Covet 8 Mitsubishi Samples High-Speed 18-Mbit SigmaRAMTM for Networking and Telecom Applications 9 Micron Introduces its New Q-Flash Product INTERVIEW 12 Infineon Shares Insight Into Their New RLDRAM Memory Denali Software, Inc. info@denali.com . www.denali.com . www.eMemory.com Editor: Lane Mason . Managing Editor: Jonah McLeod . Production Designer: Alissa Wyffels Publisher: Kevin Silver ©2002 Denali Software Inc. No part of this publication may be reproduced, stored in a retrieval system, or transmitted by any means, electronic, mechanical, photocopying, recording or otherwise, without the prior permission of Denali Software, Inc. The opinions represent Denali Software’s interpretation and analysis of information generally available to the public. The information has been derived from statistical and other sources which we deem reliable, but its completeness and accuracy cannot be guaranteed.
    • Denali Memory Report . Feb 2002 MEMORY INDUSTRY UPDATE growth on 2001’s base to get back where Denali Memory Report 2000 was. Capital spending by Market Bottoms; Recovery semiconductor companies dropped 35% Trajectory Uncertain from 2000’s “irrational exuberance” level and are expected to drop 25% further in After a calamitous free-fall for almost 2002, as the industry faces excess capacity exactly one year, the semiconductor throughout, made worse and less tractable market and the memory market (and by the rapid industry shift to the “Fabless most of its constituent parts) appear to Semiconductor” model, which is have hit bottom and begun the long obsolescing tremendous amounts of recovery to rebuild the loss of market Integrated Device Manufacturers’ capacity, revenues and profits. Since 3Q00, which and by rapid price declines and accelerating was the recent peak for most products, rate of technology transitions idling large total semiconductor revenue run rate amounts of low productivity capacity, 6” dropped 45% to its trough late in 2001, wafers and >0.3um design rules. and for the whole year 2001/2000 declined more than 32%. All memories For the user community, aside from the combined dropped more than 70% from important supply assurance issue that they peak-to-trough, and were off 50% Y/Y, depend on steady component supplies and DRAMs dropped more than 78% from healthy companies, we can be sure peak-to-trough and 62% Y/Y. Unable to that this downturn, like others before it, control costs, memory profits dropped will lead to a plethora of new products $25B from black to deep red, about the (obsolescing those of just 12 months ago), same as the loss of revenues, -$24B. revised corporate commitments to one product line or another, new business Table 1 below tells the tale of woe for strategies, and new business models. the industry. Trouble in the semiconductor industry reverberates forward through the supply Table 1. Bubble Trouble: Total chain, and lower chip costs bring with Semiconductor Market Sales and Profits them some attendant costs. Indeed, in Sales B$ After Tax most historical instances, system houses’ Profits 2000 Q1 45.2 9.0 profits are best at the same time as silicon Q2 50.2 10.5 makers’ profits! Q3 55.3 12.0 Q4 53.7 11.5 2001 Q1 43.2 1.0 Research and Development Q2 34.8 -4.0 Spending on Memory Holds Up Q3 30.6 -15.0 Q4 30.0 -10.0 2000 204.4 43.0 Development budgets have held up far 2001 138.6 -28.0 better than revenues so far, as no one can afford to stand still, in product development or in process technology. The industry is still splattered in red ink, For the most part R&D spending stayed despite already taking some astounding high, and rose as a percent of sales as the losses in both quarters of the second half denominator dropped precipitously. of 2001. More write-downs will probably come in 1Q02 and 2Q02. But as 2001 drew to an end, tough choices for 2002 budgets were clearly in Most pundits are now forecasting place as each companies’ cost structure semiconductor market growth for 2002 of was now brought into line with the hard 0 to 20%, but it would take about 50% realities of 2002 revenue expectations and the ‘return to profitability’ imperative, the ©2002 Denali Software, Inc. Page 2
    • Denali Memory Report . Feb 2002 downturn was longer and deeper than and reduced expectation for FY 2002 Denali Memory Report anyone expected in Jan-2001, or even in (ending 3/31/03). mid-2001. And the modest firming in PCs and networking marketplace in Infineon was reportedly talking to many December has brought little joy to DRAM makers about alliances (Toshiba, vendors, but did take some of the sting Samsung, anyone in Taiwan) to gain off the year and renewed hope for 2002. greater scale, or buffer the parent Few expect a sharp snap-back in sales. company from harsh DRAM times. Historically, DRAMs, even when only a small part of a companies’ total sales, Darwin’s Survival of Fittest is the have managed to wipe out profits from Law for Memory Makers enterprises 5 to 10 times as large. For about the past eight weeks, Micron has With excess capacity, demand still tepid been negotiating with near-bankrupt from wireless and networking Hynix to take over some or all of its communications (no longer in Intensive DRAM operations. Although the latest Care), and PCs muddling forward, there news has these talks suspended, it is not is no compelling reason in sight that likely Micron would just walk away, or would lead us to expect that things will that Hynix could make it out of its get better very much faster, but maybe difficulties without lots of help. Such a have just stopped getting worse, which is transaction would clearly make Micron useful in itself. the largest DRAM maker, but settlement of terms is complicated by the recent For the overall memory market, Table 2 uptick in DRAM prices, which may give below summarizes the key metrics. Hynix the courage to go on, and giving the bankers hope that they can get a Underneath these numbers, however, lies higher price for Hynix and take less of a an industry in distress and not knowing loss on the sale. They are now into debt where to go, despite near-profitability for by $7B, but no one thinks Micron would the cost leaders as 2001 rolled into 2002. ever be motivated to pay nearly that Toshiba (once the DRAM market leader much for the Hynix’s assets. by the widest margin ever, a decade ago) sold its DRAM business to Micron, holding out only its position in FCRAM, for which it will continue joint development with Fujitsu. Both companies recently raised their expected losses for the fiscal year ending 3/31/02, Table 2. Memory Market Metrics, Y2K+1 DRAM SRAM Flash Other Total Revs $M 11111 3806 7517 2309 24743 Pct Total $M 45% 15% 30% 10% 100% Gross margin -32% 20% 7% 15% -25% Capacity ws/d 30 7 15 2 54 Pct Total ws/d 57% 15% 25% 3% 100% PPMB ($) 0.24 12.35 2.35 2.10 0.49 MMB 45628 311 3170 896 50005 Pct Total MMB 91% 0.60% 6% 2.40% 100% ©2002 Denali Software, Inc. Page 3
    • Denali Memory Report . Feb 2002 Double Data Rate DRAMs decided to combine into a joint Denali Memory Report Shipments Shift Into Overdrive development program beginning at the coming 0.14um process node. Rumors After an inordinately long wait, the PC continue that a major DRAM maker will and server business is rapidly transitioning join the FCRAM camp. to DDR, first to DDR266, with DDR333 appearing almost instantly from As of October 2001, with DDR yet to Chipset makers and DRAM makers alike. achieve high volume in PC space, Even Intel, a DDR-skeptic and critic RDRAM was probably shipping more from the word “Go,” is on board with volume than DDR, but with DDR- their own Pentium 4 “845” DDR chipset, configured PCs coming up suddenly in after stubbornly transitioning from 4Q01, and RDRAM being swapped out ‘RDRAM-only’ at the time of of Intel’s Pentium 4 chipsets, the tide introduction of the Pentium 4 in 1Q01, has certainly turned. Still, RDRAM is and after a short transition at SDR doing very well in the workstation space SDRAM PC133 in late 3Q01 and 4Q01. (where the need for bandwidth is greater Their chipsets, which now support and the market can more easily afford DDR200 and DDR266, do not yet the heretofore substantial price support DDR333, but certainly will when premium), and in Sony’s Playstation 2 DDR333 systems arrive late in 2002. video game console. RDRAM has several adherents in the networking This transition has moved DDR front and space, and many smaller-volume design center, driven the volume high, and wins, and we believe that any rumors of accelerated the cost-reduction programs in its death are definitely premature. the major suppliers. Were it not for some line loading issues during the SDR-to- DDR transition in 4Q01, DDR would SRAMs Are Devouring Companies likely be priced exactly the same as SDR, They Once Fed Lavishly and will soon, albeit at a much higher price than October’s sub-$1.00 benchmark due Communications chip specialists IDT to changes in the overall DRAM market. and Cypress, whose product line and business strategies is strongly aligned to The specialty low-latency DRAMs, the networking space, enjoyed high RLDRAM (Infineon and Micron) and margins and rapid growth in 2000. But FCRAM (Fujitsu and Toshiba), continue oh, he who rides the back to the tiger, to gain acceptance, but not without some sometimes ends up inside! Both suffered trepidation. Infineon samples have been heavy losses in 2001. With relatively delayed from six-months-ago expectations good cash positions, it will take some (see Infineon article on page 7), and time to increase revenue to where they Micron will not be selling its own design were, but they appear undeterred, and go until late in 2002, and both Toshiba and forward with great vigor, and broadening Fujitsu, in the FCRAM camp, promoting communications chip portfolios. FCRAM as almost their sole DRAM offering. The Fujitsu-Toshiba alignment The SRAM market showed a major raises uncertainties about commitment to retreat in 2001, surpassing everything in the product, and ability of the suppliers the past two decades in virtually all to develop expensive and often-unique measures of “SRAM Disaster.” Bit DRAM process technology off such a growth was basically nil. narrow revenue base. While both have maintained separate development paths The market stalled in its two largest through 0.17um, two years ago they segments: communications and cell phones, which together consume more ©2002 Denali Software, Inc. Page 4
    • Denali Memory Report . Feb 2002 than 55% of total SRAM bits. suppliers. Flash price erosion was Denali Memory Report Importantly, SRAMs face a relentless substantial in 2001, measuring about 35% move to embedded solutions, not just on compared to 2000, but the best (for users) the high-profile MPUs, as standalone L2 and worst (for vendors) is yet to come in caches move onto the MPU itself, but the next few years, as high density Flash also embedded in hundreds of SRAM rolls into volume production. arrays in millions of ASICs, replaced in cell phones by increased Flash Independent market analyst iSuppli.com functionality, and facing a looming threat is forecasting another 20% revenue retreat from DRAM-as-SRAM solutions, in such for Flash for 2002, due to overcapacity products as PSRAM (or UtRAM from and tepid market growth among the Samsung, NoBL 72M from major consuming segments. Cypress/EMS, or Mosys’ 1T SRAM), and embedded DRAM. Price per MB has For sure, innovation remains been the draw for this displacement so unattenuated. Intel, AMD, Sharp, far, with DRAMs selling for 20-50x less Fujitsu, and Samsung are all offering on a per-bit basis, and performance issues highly-featured new products, mostly for of SRAM vs. DRAM are being attacked cell phone makers. And for the first time in favor of DRAM one at a time. If a in a long time, Flash is commanding designer can use DRAM-based solutions, some of the most aggressive process he has strong financial motivation to so. technologies available in the industry. Most new Flash products are being Even in their most promising turf today, brought up on a 0.17um process or communications, SRAMs face threats better, lagging only DRAMs and the from DRAM-as-SRAM, CPLDs with leading edge MPUs. “No die shrink, no large SRAM arrays (hard macros), and black ink” is today’s Flash mantra. certainly eDRAMs in next generation parts. IBM has recently loosed some comments about working on eDRAMs Design Starts Dropping Suggests with 6ns read cycle times, as reported in Better Not More New Projects recent trade press commentaries. According to Dataquest, the industry- wide number of ASIC designs dropped by Even Flash Failed to Find a Way 13% in 2001, compared to the boom-year Around the Memory Malaise 2000. Claims that “companies would innovate their way out of the recession” With cell phone forecasts receding did not always mean more new products. steadily from late 2000 until present, It does probably mean more viable Flash eventually joined SRAM as a major designs, better allocation of design market disappointment for 2001. Even resources, paring of designs that would good prospective markets for digital not meet market windows or performance media storage (MP3 and digital cameras) requirements. Along with reduced could not save the day, not this day, numbers of new designs, there was also a anyway, but a later day for sure.... trend to more complex designs (more transistors), and an acceleration of design Every Flash maker lost money save Intel, for leading edge processes. TSMC and which has been the (EPROM) Flash UMC have both reported fast take-ups of revenue leader for a remarkable 30 years. their sub 0.18um processes, now running The technology continues apace, late 2001 down to 0.13um in both companies, and saw high density (512Mb and 1Gb) parts greater capacity utilization in the past coming from NAND suppliers Hynix and months, while their capacity that is Samsung, multilevel cells from many >=0.25um is still woefully under-filled. ©2002 Denali Software, Inc. Page 5
    • Denali Memory Report . Feb 2002 Has the Pricing Rollercoaster Hit (4Mx32, and 2Mx32, up to 300MHz). Denali Memory Report Bottom? If Not, When? Rambus RDRAM however, has come For reasons that still are not very clear, down steadily, and 128Mb/144Mb are in prices for mainstream DRAMs, the the $4.00-$4.25 range and benchmark 128Mb and 256Mb, both 256Mb/288Mb under $10, essentially began to rise significantly beginning in erasing most of the 300% premium that late October. From a low of about existed a year ago when the Pentium 4 $0.90 for 128Mb and $2.50 to $3.00 for “RDRAM-only” was released. 256M (which were wholly unsustainable prices), in a series of jumps, 128Ms are These prices are far more reasonable than now about $2.25 to $2.50 and 256Ms in any that existed in the last half of 2001, for the $7 to $9 range, with some premiums the sake of the health of the DRAM developing for DDR333, $3.00 to vendors. However, even at today’s prices, $3.50, the traditional 25% to 75% only a small fraction of product is sold at a premiums for HS DDR for graphics profit on total costs, which can run up to Table 3. Pricing Outlook, DRAMs, 2001-02 $ per unit, large volumes 3Q01 4Q01 1Q02 2Q02 3Q02 4Q02 128M SDR-133 1.25 1.65 2.20 2.50 2.80 3.00 DDR266 1.40 2.00 3.00 3.00 3.25 3.25 RDRAM 5.50 5.00 4.75 4.50 4.25 4.00 256M SDR-133 3.25 4.50 7.00 7.00 7.00 7.00 DDR266 4.00 5.25 8.00 8.00 7.50 7.50 FCRAM 12.00 11.50 11.00 10.50 10.00 9.00 RDRAM 12.00 11.50 10.50 10.50 11.00 11.00 512M SDR NA NA 75.00 50.00 37.00 30.00 DDR NA NA 75.00 50.00 37.00 30.00 FCRAM NA NA NA NA NA 100.00 RDRAM NA NA NA NA NA 100.00 The notes are an integral part of this forecast, and should be read carefully: . The market is in an unsustainable low ebb, with every manufacturer losing major amounts of money; prices and margins MUST come up. . No plans for 128M FCRAM . Almost all of price deltas due to lower volumes in production, reduced supplier base . Very little die size difference using same process rules for FCRAM, SDR and DDR DRAMs… 3-7% . Higher performance parts within a class will always command higher price, but the delta will decline over time . For HS DDR, as in x32 for graphics cards, adders of 75 to 100% over these prices. 167 to >300MHz core clock . Spot and contract prices may vary widely, esp. today, with large overcapacity . Today, manufacturing cost for 128M is about $2.50-$3.00 on COGS basis, maybe $3.50-$4 for fully loaded cost . Manufacturing cost for 256M are $6-$7 on COGS basis, and $8-$9 on fully loaded cost basis . Most 512M designs begin to show up in <0.15um design rules, and not become economic until next shrink after that, 0.12um . Breadth of supplier base in a very important consideration in pricing, in the short-term and long term. ©2002 Denali Software, Inc. Page 6
    • Denali Memory Report . Feb 2002 $4.50-$5.00 for 128M and $10-$12 for Mbit Reduced Latency DRAM Denali Memory Report 256M. Though strapped for cash for (RLDRAM(TM)) components. Designed shrinks and capacity upgrades, DRAM specifically for use in high-speed makers have no choice but to move ahead networking and fast cache applications, strongly to reduce costs by moving to their RLDRAM is an ultra-high speed Double 0.14-0.15um processes. Thus the M&A Data Rate (DDR) SDRAM that combines activity we saw late in 2001: some need fast, random access with extremely high greater scale economies by consolidating bandwidth and high density. High-end DRAM operations with others; others, routers and switches that serve as key weary of the incessant press for non-existent building blocks of digital communications profits since about 1995, would rather give networks now can be designed with up the ghost and exit out of commodity specialized memory to support rapidly DRAMs. Write-offs of the most lagging- increasing data transmission rates. process fabs has been widespread. RLDRAM is offered in two organizations: Table 3 on page 6 gives our expectations 8M x 32 and 16M x 16. Operating at for DRAM prices for the next four clock frequencies up to 300 MHz and using quarters, showing a steady but gradual a DDR interface, RLDRAM supports a move upward (along with the expected sustained bandwidth of 2.4 Gbytes/s, while overall industry recovery). For sure, the allowing random access within each of its move to 256M as the product of choice eight banks. The innovative memory and cheapest PPB will speed up, and we are architecture of the components allows starting to see the first glimmers of 512Mb ultra-fast random access with row cycle chips, mostly engineering prototypes and times down to 25ns, compared to standard not truly production vehicles. DRAM row cycle times of 50ns and more. RLDRAM thereby closes the gap between DRAM and fast SRAM. FEATURE ARTICLES “RLDRAM offers the most advanced memory solution for data packet buffering, Infineon Making RLDRAM Available IP-address look-up table and fast cache Accelerates the Race to Higher applications,” said Dr. Ernst Strasser, Speed DRAM Marketing Director for Graphics Memory and Specialty DRAM Products at Infineon “The memory requirements of today’s data Technologies. “It is an outstanding communications systems have exceeded the solution for design of next generation performance characteristics of commodity networks, meeting the 10 Gigabit per PC DRAMs,” said Bob Merritt, Director second (Gbps) to 40 Gbps data rates of Emerging Markets at Semico Research defined for OC-192 and OC-768 systems.” Corporation. “RLDRAM provides a memory solution that will meet the critical “RLDRAM complements IBM’s suite of performance requirements of broadband embedded and stand alone memory system designs, and the cooperative products for network applications and has development agreement between two of the the potential to fuel a new generation of largest DRAM manufacturers will assure OC-192 and OC-768 data rate systems,” equipment providers of available capacity said Tom Reeves, Vice President, Custom to meet demand.” Logic, IBM Microelectronics. “IBM intends to add the RLDRAM interface to Infineon Technologies AG (NYSE:IFX) on our ASIC cell library to help our customers February 11, 2002 announced the take advantage of the technology.” availability of sample quantities of 256- ©2002 Denali Software, Inc. Page 7
    • Denali Memory Report . Feb 2002 RLDRAM is packaged in an advanced of stored code, precluding the need for a Denali Memory Report T-FBGA (thin- fine pitch ball grid array) separate RAM. In addition to its package, which offers a small form factor synchronous read bursts of up to 56MHz, together with excellent electrical and the M58LW032A also performs thermal characteristics supporting clock asynchronous 90ns/25ns page mode read, frequencies of 300 MHz. The initial 90ns random access, and address-latch- Infineon portfolio includes the 256-Mbit controlled read operations. components in 8Mx32 and 16Mx16 organizations, which will be available in The M58LW032A 32-Mbit Flash three speed sorts (300MHz, 250MHz memory is available in TSOP56 and and 200MHz). Infineon’s pricing for TBGA64 packages, operates over a the current samples, operating at temperature range of up to -45o to +85o 200MHz, is US$54. C, and is rated for more than 100,000 erase and program cycles per block. Samples are available now, with volume STMicroelectronics Sets its Eyes on quantities scheduled for the second a FLASH Memory Prize That Other quarter of 2002. Giants Covet The design-win prize for flash memory Mitsubishi Samples High-Speed 18- chip makers is digital consumer products Mbit SigmaRAMTM for Networking such as set-top boxes, digital video disk and Telecom Applications players, car navigation systems, personal digital assistants, digital cameras, DATELINE: February 6, 2002--To meet camcorders and printers. Flash memory the requirements of high-performance is also well suited for use in network networking and telecom systems, the routers and related equipment. Electronic Device Group of Mitsubishi Electric & Electronics USA, Inc., of To attack this lucrative market Sunnyvale, Calif. announced the sample opportunity, STMicroelectronics (NYSE: availability of JEDEC-standard, 18-Mbit STM) on February 11, 2002 announced SigmaRAM™ high-speed SRAMs. the M58LW032A, a 32-Mbit Flash Available in x72-bit and x36-bit memory chip that combines all the key configurations and conforming to the features needed to meet the demands of SigmaRAM Consortium’s S1x1Dp today’s increasingly complex digital specification, the devices offer a data consumer products. throughput of up to 24 gigabits per second (Gbps) and up to 18 Gbps, respectively, at The introduction is a milestone along the 333-MHz and 250-MHz speed grades. STMicroelectronics’ roadmap for achieving multibit-cell compatible technology Flash The SigmaRAM SRAM architecture is a set memory devices of up to 256-Mbit. of open standards for powerful, high-speed SRAM devices that are targeted specifically Among the key specifications of the for the networking and communications feature-rich M58LW032A are its 56MHz markets. Developed through the synchronous data bursts, a 16-bit wide collaboration of several leading SRAM data bus, a 2.7 to 3.6V Vdd operation companies and approved by JEDEC, the voltage plus a separated Vddq I/O buffers architecture enables all SRAM power supply from 1.8V to Vdd. manufacturers to develop compatible devices based on the same specifications. Like other Flash memory chips, the M58LW032A can store data, but its high Manufactured in a leading-edge 0.15-mm performance also allows direct execution CMOS process technology, Mitsubishi ©2002 Denali Software, Inc. Page 8
    • Denali Memory Report . Feb 2002 Electric’s SigmaRAM devices offer access Micron’s Strategic Marketing Manager for Denali Memory Report times as fast as 2.1 ns and operate on a Advanced Flash Architectures. single 1.8-volt power supply for low power consumption. The devices are Samples of 32Mb Q-Flash devices are available in a 209-ball BGA package with organized in a x8/x16 configuration, a 14-mm x 22-mm footprint. operate at 2.7V to 3.6V with a 5V I/O range option and function at an extended The memory has fully registered inputs temperature range of -40o Celsius to +85o and outputs for pipelined operation, a Celsius. Q-Flash devices are packaged in separate 1.8-volt Vddq for I/O and 56-pin TSOPs and 64-ball FBGAs, individual byte write controls. The equivalent to industry standard packaging. device also has a single read/write control pin, echo clock outputs track data output Samples of 64Mb Q-Flash devices are drivers, an a ZQ mode pin for user expected in the second quarter of 2002, selectable output drive strength. with higher densities to follow. Technical notes along with additional information on Samples of 250-MHz speed grade version Q-Flash memory technology and products of the 18-Mbit SigmaRAM SRAMs, may be obtained at www.micron.com. M5M5Y5636TG (512K x 36) and M5M5Y5672TG (256K x 72) configuration devices will be available this month, with volume production scheduled for April 2002. Samples of 333-MHz speed grade version of both products will be available in June 2002, with volume production scheduled for the third quarter of 2002. Micron Introduces its New Q-Flash Product DATELINE: February 6, 2002--Micron Technology, Inc., today announced industry samples of 32Mb Q-FlashTM, the first offering in the Q-Flash family of high-density, even-sectored Flash devices. Q-Flash memory is comparable to Intel’s StrataFlashTM, targeting a wide range of applications such as set-top boxes, cellular base stations, networking and automotive applications. The Q-Flash memory is manufactured using 0.18 micron process geometries and single state NOR technology, allowing rapid process migration and continued reduction of manufacturing costs. “This type of scalability leverages Q-Flash devices as one of the most competitive memory solutions for applications needing both code and data storage,” said Steve Forman, ©2002 Denali Software, Inc. Page 9
    • Denali Memory Report . Feb 2002 INTERVIEW Ernst: We had tremendous interest right Denali Memory Report from the beginning. The reasons are, I Infineon Shares Insight into their believe, the unique combination of New RLDRAM Memory outstanding performance combined with low power. Designing a revolutionary versus an evolutionary memory architecture DMR: Is most of the interest coming As we launch this newsletter, one of the from network equipment designers, or features we wanted to include was a have you also found a following from forum for discussion of major issues designers building caches? facing emerging double data rate DRAMs now coming on the market. For our first Ernst: These are exactly the two market interview, we chose Robert Feurle, segment we were targeting and the two who Director of Product Line ‘Graphics and Specialty DRAMs’ and Dr. Ernst Strasser, Director of Marketing for Graphics and Specialty DRAMs at Infineon. Both are heavily involved in the definition and design of the company’s new Reduced- Latency DRAM (RLDRAM). We spoke with the two by phone in late January. DMR: What prompted the search for a new memory architecture? When did the idea come about? have the greatest demand for the memory. Ernst: The idea for this product was born DMR: How much will RLDRAM cost in January 2000. The increasing need for compared to DDR SDRAM? high bandwidth, SRAM-like random access combined with high memory density Ernst: The cost of this part is determined brought about the idea of RLDRAM. by a low-trc (row cycle time) architecture, increased clock frequency and high DMR: Can you describe the trial (and performance I/O requirements. The error) design effort to bring the part to price-to-performance ratio of RLDRAM completion? will be absolutely competitive to any other existing technology. Robert: The first RLDRAM specification was discussed with lead customers in July DMR: What has been the most difficult 2000. We had several iteration of the design issue you have faced and solved? specification to finalize the product definition. Early access to models was Robert: Optimization of active power important in pinpointing design issues, consumption and trc (row cycle time). and starting to solve them. We did not start the design until we were absolutely Ernst: And we scaled the trc of this part sure, that our product features fully to maintain or improve bus utilization for reflected customer requirements. the next generation of RLDRAM running at 400 MHz. This means we are DMR: How well has the design been improving the trc further. picked up in the marketplace? What is the response to date from system houses DMR: At Denali in the data sheet for on the part? the RLDRAM we modeled, we noticed ©2002 Denali Software, Inc. Page 10
    • Denali Memory Report . Feb 2002 that between about December of 2000 devices that have the same functionality. Denali Memory Report and January of 2001 you improved the power efficiency on the order of three DMR: What is the current outlook on fold. How did that come about? production? Robert: This was done by architectural Robert: Pre-production has started. changes and package optimization and First silicon came out in December other innovative conceptual approaches. 2001. It is running 300 MHz. Volume We did extensive simulation for power production will occur in the second half control, power improvement, including of 2002. The memory is being ‘package optimization’ and architectural fabricated in our Dresden Fab. changes. What we can confirm is that the DMR: You have a x16 and x32 and an error-corrected x18 and x36 version. What plans do you have for narrower widths? Ernst: We will be offering a x9, x18 and x36. The demand for narrower memory widths relates to an increasing need for memory depths in certain applications. DMR: What is in store for the second- chips we are currently about to ship are generation part (RLDRAM II)? meeting or surpassing our customers reduced power requirement expectation. Ernst: I can’t comment too much on that. RLDRAM II will be a 288-Mbit device DMR: You now have a second source in working at 400 MHz with improved row Micron Technology. Will others be cycle time. The specification has been added? If so, under what circumstances? completed and the design has been started. Ernst: We have a co-development DMR: What are the major differences agreement with Micron. It has clear and similarities between RLDRAM and conditions for adding a third party. The FCRAM? agreement specifies that we mutually specify the RLDRAM family and that Ernst: RLDRAM differs from FCRAM each company brings their expertise to the in approach. The RLDRAM device is a development of the chip. Infineon brings revolutionary concept and was high-speed DRAM knowledge; Micron developed from scratch without brings networking system expertise. compromise. RLDRAM has fast random-SRAM-like access, an improved DMR: Are there process specific issues data protocol and clocking scheme, and resulting from Micron producing the reduced power numbers. RLDRAM on a different silicon process roadmap than Infineon? DMR: Infineon has high-speed Graphics RAM and other memory Robert. To ensure that the products are types. What are the important things compatible for the both memory you learned in developing these technologies, we characterize the Micron products that has fed over into other device and Micron characterizes our device. memories in your portfolio? Both companies have fully compatible ©2002 Denali Software, Inc. Page 11
    • Denali Memory Report . Feb 2002 Robert: Yes, as you rightly noted Infineon Denali Memory Report has a platform approach to memory design. We are gaining expertise with graphics applications and designs. Where applicable, we’ve applied this expertise-for example I/O schemes-over into our RLDRAM. DMR: What’s the difference in your view between the Graphics RAM and RLDRAM? Ernst: The RLDRAM has fast SRAM- like random-access at 300 MHz double data rate clock frequency. The Graphics RAM is used in applications were page mode access is important. Both have the same peak bandwidth, but the RLDRAM additionally offers random- access with a shorter cycle time. DMR: When will you shrink the design to 0.14 um? When will 512-Mbit parts be available? Robert: Second generation RLDRAM will be qualified in Q1 03. The production ramps up in Q3 03. The discussion on our future roadmap has not been completed. DMR: We would like to thank Robert and Ernst for taking the time to speak with us and publish their comments. ©2002 Denali Software, Inc. Page 12