AUSTIN, Texas In an effort to cut costs, Samsung Semiconductor Inc. plans to reduce the variations of multi-chip packages that it currently offers to the cellphone market, said Ivan Greenberg, director of flash strategic marketing at Samsung Semiconductor USA.
Speaking at the Denali MemCon Austin 2005 conference here Thursday (April 28), Greenberg said Samsung now sells more than 50 varieties of MCPs, with different combinations of flash, pseudo RAM (PSRAM), and DRAM.
Within the cellphone industry, major handset vendors are converging on a limited number of MCPs. Samsung is in the process of deciding what configurations will be within the "subset" of the current 50 MCPs now offered, Greenberg said at the conference, organized by Denali Software, Inc. (Palo Alto, Calif.) .
"We want to reduce the number of variations so we can reduce the price to the manufacturers. It takes a lot of money to develop, inventory, and test so many variations," Greenberg said.
Samsung uses a widely adopted nomenclature, referring to stacked memories as multi-chip packages, or MCPs, while describing combinations of logic, memory, and other ICs as system in packages, or SIPs. Samsung itself does not create SIPs, though it provides bare die to several companies that specialize in making SIPs.
One participant suggested that a wide variety of MCPs and SIPs are needed, with certain combinations providing a "just right" fit for certain applications. Just as tire makers might be able to reduce costs if they only offered four kinds of tires, the tire industry instead provides a wide array of tires. Vendors of MCPs and SIPs also would be well served by balancing the advantages of variety and costs, he argued.
"To the extent that customers want other configurations, there will be a path for custom offerings," the Samsung marketing manager replied.