Elpida Memory is the new brand name of the DRAM joint venture between NEC Corp. and Hitachi Ltd., which has already developed its first 0.13-micron design-rule 256-megabit SDRAM.
The two companies today announced the new name and first 256-Mbit SDRAM, which will begin sampling in the first quarter of 2001. Volume production of the new chip will begin several months later, using NEC and Hitachi fabs as foundries.
Kenji Tokuyama, president of Elpida Memory, said the joint venture is now devloping next- generation Double-Data-Rate (DDR) SDRAM, Direct Rambus DRAM and Virtual Channel Memory versions of the SDRAM and DDR chips. Tokuyama formerly headed DRAM operations for NEC, and is joined in the new company by executive vice president Tokumasa Yasui, who previous headed Hitachi's DRAM operatons.
The two Japanese chipmakers launched the DRAM joint venture Jan. 1 of this year and have been working together to develop new memory chips since then. Joint marketing of DRAMs through Elpida starts Jan. 1, 2001.
The Elpida DRAM brand will have the fourth-largest share of the global DRAM market, behind Samsung Electronics, Hyundai Electronics Industries, and Micron Technology. Infineon Technologies rounds out the quintet of major DRAM suppliers.