Electronics giants Hyundai and Samsung are showing off their latest memory products at the Intel Developer Forum in Palm Springs, California this week, including Hyundai's new double data rate (DDR) synchronous DRAM (SDRAM).
At the same time, Intel reportedly announced it will begin production on its 0.18 micron-process flash memory chips later this year.
High-performance memory products are important to users because memory access is increasingly becoming a bottleneck for high-performance systems. That is because processor speeds have risen steadily and new applications place ever-greater demands on PCs.
Hyundai on Monday announced it is sampling its 143-, 166-, and 183MHz 2MB by 32-bit DDR SDRAM, a fast memory product aimed at graphics, networking and consumer applications requiring fast access to memory.
The SDRAM, designated HY5DU663222, is manufactured to a 0.22 micron process and will be available in production quantities in the second quarter. Hyundai, the world's largest DRAM supplier, said the new part can increase memory-access bandwidth by more than 65 percent compared with the 200MHz, single data rate (SDR) chip.
The 166MHz chip is available at a sample price of $21 (£13) now, and will sell in production quantities for $15.50; prices for the other chips is not yet available.
Hyundai is currently in volume production in 1Mx16 SDR 200MHz, 2Mx32 SDR 200MHz, and 4Mx16 DDR 183MHz parts.
Farhad Tabrizi, vice president of Hyundai's DRAM Business Unit, said the chips are aimed at increasing the company's focus on memory applications. "These products were originally developed for other point-to-point applications, particularly networking; however, they are ideally suited for graphics," he stated. "Placing greater attention on the graphics market has been a profitable strategy for Hyundai, and has allowed us to broaden our customer base this year."
In the mean time, Samsung is demonstrating its own wide-ranging line of memory products, including Rambus DRAM (RDRAM), PC133 SDRAM and DDR SDRAM.
The company is demonstrating two working systems: one with an 800MHz 128Mb RDRAM memory module in an Intel 820-based system, the other with 1GB of Samsung SDRAM memory, made up of 36 pieces of 256Mbit SDRAM, operating in a PC133-based system.
Rambus DRAM is an emerging high-end memory technology that solves many bottleneck problems, but is more expensive than standard DRAM.
Intel's new flash memory chips, based on the same 0.18 micron process the company currently uses to produce its high-end processors, will begin at Intel's New Mexico manufacturing plant, which it acquired from Rockwell. The chips are mainly used by the mobile phone industry.
The relatively new 0.18 micron process is important because it is less expensive to manufacture and increases power efficiency and bandwidth.