Qimonda announces smallest 2Gb DDR3 DRAM chip

Posted on Wednesday, Feb 04 2009 @ 20:16 CET by Thomas De Maesschalck
Qimonda has filed for insolvency but until a final decision is taken concerning the future structure of the company, the German DRAM maker tries to continue to do business as usual. Today the firm introduced world's smallest 2Gb DDR3 DRAM, which is based on Qimonda's 46nm Buried Worldline technology:
The new 2 Gigabit DDR3 DRAM is based on Qimonda’s leading 46nm Buried Wordline technology and has a die size of less than 55mm², translating into a significant improvement in productivity compared to today’s technologies. Qimonda originally intended to start commercial production of the new chip by mid 2009 and is actively seeking financing partners to enable this timeline. Recently, Intel Corporation recognized Qimonda’s leading position in DDR3 technology and awarded the company for its engagement.

Qimonda’s 46nm technology will triple the number of chips per wafer compared to the current 75nm technology. At the same time, the chip is expected to significantly reduce power consumption by up to 75 percent in high-density DDR3 (Double Data Rate) modules. The new technology is the ideal platform to boost the market’s conversion from DDR2 to DDR3 technology predicted for mid-2009. Qimonda’s technology roadmap ideally complements this conversion.

"With the first functional chips on 46nm, Qimonda shows the potential to regain technology leadership in the DRAM industry", said Kin Wah Loh, President and CEO of, Qimonda AG. "The new 2 Gigabit DDR3 is expected to significantly increase our productivity and reduce our cost per bit once it is ramped up in production. In addition, the new chip is ideally suited for high-density DDR3 server modules and will put us in the position of the energy efficiency leader in the market."

Intel Corporation recognized Qimonda’s top position in DDR3 technology. "Qimonda delivered DDR3 memory modules that are industry leading in performance and power allowing optimal system performance on Intel platforms," said Pat Gelsinger, Senior Vice President INTEL CORPORATION and General Manager, Digital Enterprise Group, during a recent award ceremony.

With today’s announcement, Qimonda takes an important step towards establishing the viability of the core development and production capabilities of the company. This is a critical element of the search for new investors.

No final decisions have yet been taken concerning the future structure of the company, including whether those of its businesses that can be continued will be held through Qimonda AG or placed in a new company owned by new investors. In the latter case, or if investors cannot be found to finance the continuation of Qimonda’s businesses, Qimonda AG would likely be liquidated.

Here's a bit more information about the new 46nm technology:
After seeing the first generation with a size of 65nm achieve good results in mass production in Dresden, the developers have now created the first operational DDR3 memory modules based on the latest 46nm technology.

The new 46nm technology will triple the number of chips per wafer compared with the current 75nm technology, and thus is expected to increase production efficiency by 200 percent. Furthermore, preliminary results show that power consumption will be reduced by up to 75 percent. "We are confident that our new technology is the key innovation for us to move onwards into a lucrative future," says Thomas Seifert, CFO and COO of Qimonda AG. "The first successful test runs with the new 46nm module generation and the customer feedback up to now have been very encouraging."

Industry experts believe that this new generation of chip represents a clear advantage for Qimonda over the competition. The global market leader Intel Corporation also recently confirmed Qimonda's leading position in DDR3 technology.

The focus on Buried Wordline technology is therefore a key element of Qimonda's global restructuring and cost-reduction programme. At the same time, in order to stabilise its ongoing operations even further, loss-making products and contracts are being discontinued and core production activities are being intensified. This is the reason that production will now be ramped down at the Richmond 300mm manufacturing facility, Virginia (USA). Given the current macroeconomic climate, it is not possible to finance a conversion of this facility for Buried Wordline technology production. In the future, more customers will be supplied with chips from the plant in Dresden. Approximately 1,500 employees are affected by this restructuring measure. Production at the other Qimonda AG facilities continues for the time being.

"This is an essential step for us in order to improve our production efficiency and thoroughly orient Qimonda towards the next generation of memory, the innovative Buried Wordline technology," said Thomas Seifert, member of the management board of Qimonda. In addition, establishing the viability of the core development and production capabilities of the company is a critical first step in the search for new investors.

About the Author

Thomas De Maesschalck

Thomas has been messing with computer since early childhood and firmly believes the Internet is the best thing since sliced bread. Enjoys playing with new tech, is fascinated by science, and passionate about financial markets. When not behind a computer, he can be found with running shoes on or lifting heavy weights in the weight room.

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