Infineon Technologies Begins Volume Production of 256-Megabit DRAM in 0.14-micron Technology, Starts 512-Megabit DRAM Sampling, Reinforces Leadership in Technology and Production Cost
Featuring 18 percent smaller structures than the companys previous smallest process at 0.17 micron, this 0.14 micron manufacturing technology results in a cost advantage per chip of around 30 percent.
The new process has been deployed in Infineons Dresden 200mm wafer facility since September, and is now quickly ramping volume for 256-Mbit production. The other two DRAM manufacturing sites of the companys Fab Cluster, the Infineon plant in Richmond, Virginia, and the ProMOS Technologies joint venture in Hsinchu, Taiwan, are in the final phases of preparing their own production start for the 0.14-micron process.
With our 0.14-micron process shrink, Infineon once again underscores its memory technology leadership, said Dr. Andreas von Zitzewitz, member of the board and COO of Infineon Technologies AG. Our latest shrink version of the 256-Mbit DRAM is the smallest 256-Mbit in the industry, and will result in Infineon again having the best manufacturing cost position.
The currently ongoing transfer of the 0.14-micron technology to its 300mm production lines will further increase Infineons cost reductions by approximately 30 percent. The Dresden 300mm module already started pre-production. Early next year 0.14-micron volume production will start, while the ProMOS joint venture will follow suit 1-2 quarters later, expediting its own ramp based on the experiences gained with the Dresden production ramp-up.
The combination of the ultra-dense 0.14-micron process and our proprietary trench cell technology - which produces approximately 10 percent smaller chip sizes than competitive technology at the same design rules and DRAM density - is a major boost to our manufacturing economies, said Harald Eggers, Senior Vice President and General Manager, Memory Products Group of Infineon Technologies AG. In all market environments, Infineon is committed to taking all possible steps to further improve its cost structure, especially for high-volume products like the 256-Mbit DRAM. The 256-Mbit SDRAM is only the beginning of our next portfolio-wide technology shift, which will enable us again to leverage economies of scale by using the same process technology for basically all memory products made.
Key account customers of Infineon began to test and qualify samples of the 0.14-micron, 256-Mbit SDRAMs earlier this summer. Among the first companies to successfully finalize their qualifications are Intel® Corporation and several major PC manufacturer. Intel has included Infineons unbuffered modules based on the new 256-Mbit SDRAM revision in the list of qualified memory modules for the Intel Desktop Board D845HV supporting the Pentium® 4 processor. More information about this can be found at: http://www.intel.com/design/motherbd/hv/hv_internalmem.htm. The 512-Mbyte PC133 CL-2 Modules listed there make Infineon the first supplier of a PC133 DIMM based on 256-Mbit components to have passed all required tests at CAS-Latency 2, whereas other modules listed only offer a CAS-Latency of 3.
A steady production ramp of 0.14-micron, 256-Mbit output is scheduled. To accomplish a smooth transition of the product mix from the 0.17-micron products to the 0.14-micron parts for all customers, this ramp will be spread over time, allowing for all customers to adjust their qualification, purchasing and logistics processes accordingly.
More information about the Infineon range of DRAM products is available at www.infineon.com/memory
Infineon Technologies AG, Munich, Germany, offers semiconductor and system solutions for applications in the wired and wireless communications markets, for security systems and smart cards, for the automotive and industrial sectors, as well as memory products. With a global presence, Infineon operates in the US from San Jose, California, in the Asia-Pacific region from Singapore and in Japan from Tokyo. In the fiscal year 2000 (ending September 2000), the company achieved sales of Euro 7.28 billion with about 29,000 employees worldwide. Infineon is listed on the DAX index of the Frankfurt Stock Exchange and on the New York Stock Exchange (ticker symbol: IFX). Further information is available at www.infineon.com.
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