Elpida develops DDR3 memory

Elpida Memory has developed a DDR3 memory chip than runs at 1.3GHz.

Elpida Memory has completed development of its first DDR3 memory chip. The technology is an improvement on existing computer memory and should help increase performance in personal computers, particularly in the area of multimedia applications.

The better performance should be realised because DDR3 chips can communicate with the rest of the computer at a much faster speed than today's most common memory chips. At present many computers use DDR memory that runs at 400MHz. More advanced DDR2 memory is becoming popular and that can operate at speeds between 400MHz and 800MHz, although the fastest version is not in common use these days. Elpida's DDR3 chip works at 1.3GHz.

The new chip will also lower power consumption. It operates on a 1.5 volts supply versus the 1.8 volts used for DDR2 memory. While the difference is small, that can add up to extra battery life in battery-powered devices because the chips use less power themselves and don't get as hot so less cooling is required.

The Japanese company is not the first to announce development of a DDR3 chip. Earlier this year, Samsung Electronics said it had developed a 512M-bit DDR3 chip that runs at 1.06GHz, which is slightly slower than the Elpida chip.

Elpida's DDR3 chip, which has a capacity of 512M-bits, will be available in early 2006 to the company's customers for evaluation and commercial production is expected to begin sometime later in the year in accordance with customer demand, according to a company a spokesperson. Looking ahead, Elpida plans to develop 1G-bit and 2G-bit versions of DDR3 chips, it said.

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Martyn Williams

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