HSINCHU, Taiwan -- Winbond Electronics Corp. is ramping up its production of Direct Rambus DRAM, targeting performance desktop PCs and workstations.
Winbond said it's sampling 128Mbit and 256Mbit RDRAMs to meet growing demand from OEMs for the memory, which is used to support Intel Corp.'s Pentium 4 processors. Winbond is one of only a few manufacturers to have announced a wholesale ramp of the Rambus chips and will join Toshiba Corp. and Direct RDRAM volume leader Samsung Electronics Co. Ltd. in the market.
"As a leading DRAM supplier in Taiwan, Winbond will add local production capacity, which is important to support the ramp of Pentium4/RDRAM-based systems," Dave Mooring, president of Rambus, Los Altos, Calif., said in a statement. "Winbond will be a key supplier of RDRAMs for OEMs and various channels as they move to volume production later this year."
Because Winbond already makes DRAM on behalf of Toshiba, the RDRAM products will be shipped to Toshiba for use in Sony Corp.'s PlayStation 2 game consoles, said Connor Liu, an analyst at SG Securities in Taipei.
The Hsinchu-based manufacturer didn't reveal shipment details, but said RDRAM memory is seen as a key product.
"Rambus DRAMs will be a strategic part of our product offerings this year," said C.C. Chang, Winbond's president. "Winbond is committed to meeting the PC industry's need for higher memory bandwidth, and we intend to be an important RDRAM supplier to PC companies."
Winbond said it is anxious to introduce new products because the selling prices of its main DRAM have fallen below production costs.
The company will extend its losses into the June quarter as 128Mbit DRAM are selling for less than $2 each, compared with Winbond's variable costs of $4 to $4.50, some analysts said.
In the previous quarter, Winbond posted an operating loss of $43.5 million.