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RK73G1JTTD18R2D_Datasheet PDF

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''Micron and Intel intend to retain a strong cost leadership position by starting an industry-leading 2x-nm node transition late in the third quarter or early in the fourth quarter. Micron also plans to produce 3-bit-per-cell technology in the fourth quarter; however, this will be a small amount (below 10 percent) of its production capability in that quarter,'' the analyst said.

Not to be outdone, Korea's Samsung Electronics Co. Ltd. is also off and running. Market leader Samsung is delivering 42-nm NAND parts.

RK73G1JTTD18R2D_Datasheet PDF

In terms of shipments, ''Samsung's 42-nm product is currently accounting for 30 percent of the mix, with the rest at 5x-nm node,'' said C.J. Muse, an analyst with Barclays Capital Equity Research, in a report. ''Additionally, Samsung is starting to sample 3x-nm node (devices) in order to catch up with Toshiba (32-nm) and Micron (34-nm).''

Two NAND partners, Hynix Semiconductor Inc. and Numonyx B.V., are trailing the pack. They have recently rolled out a line of NAND flash-memory parts based on a 41-nm process.

In DRAM, Samsung is also making a bold statement. ''Samsung has been in production at 56-nm since 2008 (about 50 percent production today). It is now starting to sample 46-nm and expects 100 percent of capacity to be at or below 68-nm by the end of 2009, with the proportion of 5x-nm steadily increasing,'' Muse said. ''Furthermore, on a slightly different note, Samsung expects bit parity between DDR3 and DDR2 in 3Q/4Q09 timeframe.''

RK73G1JTTD18R2D_Datasheet PDF

The latest DRAM offering from Micron is 50-nm. Samsung and Hynix are shipping 58- and 54-nm DRAMs, respectively.

Elpida Memory, Inc. recenlty completed development of a 50-nm DDR3 SDRAM, claiming the chip hits a new low in power consumption for DRAMs.

RK73G1JTTD18R2D_Datasheet PDF

Some say the memory scaling race is a moot point. The business model in the memory sector is broken, prompting the need for more rational behavior and consolidation in the industry, according to an executive.

There is also the price and demand issue. ''Continuing the trend of the past three weeks, spot pricing (for DRAMs) maintained a mild decline of 0.7 percent, compared with the previous week, standing at $1.28 on a 1-Gb equivalent basis,'' said Brady Wang, an analyst with Gartner Inc.

However, the sales were up 12.5 percent over April 2009 when sales had declined 22.2 percent year on year. Revenues for January through May 2009 totaled NT$87.20 billion (about $2.67 billion), a decrease of 40.3 percent compared to the same period in 2008.

Related links and articles:

TSMC sees the need to share R&D, pledges to invest

TSMC launches interconnect modeling format

TSMC confirms 40-nm yield issues, gives predictions

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