Winbond Electronics Corp. today formed an agreement with Toshiba Corp. to jointly develop 0.13-micron trench DRAM memory technology and 512-Mbit DRAM devices.
The partnership is the first joint DRAM process development project between Toshiba and Winbond, the largest branded-IC company in Taiwan. The agreement is yet another sign of the continuing trend by Japan's DRAM makers to control rising costs by outsourcing product manufacturing and development to Taiwanese chip vendors.
While the two companies are engaging in their first shared process development pact, Toshiba has been farming out increasingly significant levels of DRAM manufacturing and transferring DRAM technology to Winbond since the end of 1995.
In a statement, Winbond claimed today's agreement is a demonstration that its "advanced capabilities in DRAM process technology R&D have been recognized by Toshiba."
"DRAM business is bound to go international through global strategic alliances," said Kuang Chiu, executive vice president of Winbond's DRAM business. "Winbond and Toshiba have had a successful history of cooperation in the past few years. Starting in 1995, with a 0.35-micron project, we have had three generations of technology transfer with Toshiba. The 0.13-micron collaboration with Toshiba symbolizes our continuous commitment to technology advancement."
The development collaboration will be conducted by a team of specialists, staffed by both companies, at Toshiba's manufacturing facilities in Japan. Each company will then implement the newly developed processes in their respective manufacturing lines.
Winbond expects to install the jointly developed technology in its Fabs 4 and 5 beginning the fourth quarter of 2001. The company expects to use the technology mainly for 512-Mbit DRAM products.