Samsung gets behind QDR memory standard

Samsung Electronics Co. Ltd., one of the world's largest manufacturers of memory chips, has announced backing for the QDR (quad data rate) high-speed memory chip standard and joined the team of four companies developing the technology.

The addition of Samsung to the list of supporters is a big boost for the QDR format. Development of the standard began in February 1999 with three backers, Micron Technology Inc., IDT Inc. and Cypress Semiconductor Corp. Japan's NEC Corp., also a major computer memory chip maker, became the fourth member of the joint development team in January this year. QDR SRAM (static random access memory) chips are being designed for use in high-speed computer and telecommunications networking equipment, such as switches and routers, and other applications where memory data is needed to be shifted around at speeds above 200MHz. The secret of the chip's high speed is that it has two ports, each running at double data rate, resulting in four data items, consisting of two reads and two writes, for each clock cycle.

Samsung's support is important for the company not just because of the brand name value but also because Samsung is the world's largest producer of SRAM chips. The constant availability of components is always a concern for equipment manufacturers and Samsung's backing for the QDR standard together with production from the other companies should help allay fears of supply shortages.

First generation QDR SRAMs entered sample production just over a year ago and Micron began offering them commercially in September last year. Samsung said it hopes to begin supplying samples of new 18Mbit chips by the fourth quarter of this year with commercial availability slated for the first quarter of 2002. Samples of 36Mbit chips are expected to follow in the first quarter of 2002 with commercial quantities available in the second quarter of next year.

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