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Total silicon wafer area shipments were 1,273 million square inches during the most recent quarter, up from the 1,175 million square inches shipped during the previous quarter. That equaled second quarter 2002 area shipments.

FT4-BLU_Datasheet PDF

Total silicon wafer area shipments were 1,273 million square inches during the most recent quarter, up from the 1,175 million square inches shipped during the previous quarter. That equaled second quarter 2002 area shipments.

Kang pointed to the growing use of NAND memory in cell phones as having the potential to assume many of the code execution functions now performed by NOR flash. However, he said Samsung, which engages in limited production of NOR flash, isn't trying to drive NOR out of the cell phone market and maintains that the two architectures will co-exist.

NOR is a good mem-ory solution, but if you need above 256Mbits, the memory will be NAND,” Kang said.

FT4-BLU_Datasheet PDF

Hynix Semiconductor, meanwhile, plans to jump into the surging NAND flash market by collaborating with ST. Hynix executives said the alliance's first NAND flash will be a 512- Mbit chip slated to begin sampling at the end of the year. Initial production is expected in the first quarter of 2004 at a yet-to-be-designated Hynix fab.

Analysts are generally taking a wait-and-see attitude on the possible impact the Hynix-ST NAND venture might have on the market. Jim Handy, Los Gatos, Calif.-based nonvolatile memory analyst for Semico Research Corp., said that depending on how fast Hynix can ramp up production, the new NAND team could make its presence felt in the market next year.

Samsung and Hynix also are exploring other nonvolatile memory technologies, though none is expected to see the volumes of flash soon.

FT4-BLU_Datasheet PDF

Samsung, for example, is developing ferroelectric RAM, magnetoresistive RAM, and phase-change RAM. Kang acknowledged that ferroelectric RAM already has some commercial uses, but said it must still compete against the higher density and lower cost of NAND flash.

Another new memory, Rambus Inc.'s next-generation XDR DRAM (code-named Yellowstone), will be produced by Samsung for electronic game consoles. Kang expects Sony Corp.'s next-generation game devices will be among the first to use XDR DRAM, but doesn't foresee PC makers flocking to it.

FT4-BLU_Datasheet PDF

Yellowstone right now is a point-to-point [memory] application,” he said. It isn't applicable for PCs unless it is modified from its present form.”

Kang was similarly cautious in regard to GDDR3 graphics memory, which has not been standardized but whose use is being promoted by graphics processor vendors such as ATI Technologies Inc.

In previous designs, the conductive layer has been sandwiched between the backlight, which provides the illumination, and the device to be backlit,” said Walter Schulz, applications engineer at Lumitex. This design is inefficient in that the light transfer from the backlight to the overlay is blocked by the conductive pad. The Lumitex design provides a direct path for the light with no interference.”

With the conductive pads integrated with the fiber-optic panel, switches can be totally encapsulated, with an adhesive layer around the pc-board traces to seal out contaminants that can cause switches to fail prematurely, Schulz noted.

The units target such applications as remote controls, membrane switch keypads or keyboards for applications requiring illumination, like bank ATMs.

Pricing for Lumitex fiber-optic backlighting panels with the new integrated membrane switch conductive pads starts at under $1 for a basic 1.5 x 1-inch (38.1 x 25.4-mm) single-layer panel.

Call (800) 969-5483; (440) 243-8401www.lumitex.com

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