Infineon, Micron join on DRAM for new mobile devices

German memory-chip maker Infineon Technologies AG and rival U.S. memory maker Micron Technology Inc. will collaborate on the development of CellularRAM memory, a type of DRAM (dynamic RAM) chip aimed at mobile devices using 2.5G and 3G (third-generation) technology, the companies announced Monday.

Billed as "a new type" of high-density Pseudo SRAM (static RAM) device, CellularRAM is based on a single transistor DRAM cell as opposed to the more standard six-transistor SRAM cell, said Infineon spokesman Guenter Gaugler.

Micron representatives could not immediately be reached for comment.

DRAM chips, commonly used as the main memory in desktop and notebook computers, have the advantage of containing smaller memory cells than SRAM, which make them more desirable for handheld mobile devices using 2.5G or GPRS (General Packet Radio Services) and 3G technology, Gaugler said. The DRAM CellularRAM chips will also allow low power consumption, Gaugler said.

"CellularRAM is not that common on the market. This product that we are developing will differ from other DRAM technologies in that the capacity will be bigger and the memory will be increased all for the memory subsystems of 2.5G and 3G devices. The smaller size of the chip will also make it cheaper to produce. We are looking to make this a standard," Gaugler said.

Under the terms of the agreement, Infineon and Micron will jointly develop the specifications for compatible products, which will in turn be produced separately using each company's own process technology, Gaugler said.

Financial terms of the collaboration between Infineon, in Munich, and Micron, in Boise, Idaho, will not be disclosed, Gaugler said.

Though Gaugler declined give a price for the new CellularRAM chips, he said that devices using CellularRAM memory should be on the market within the next 12 months.

The first product using CellularRAM technology -- a mobile device with 32M bytes of memory -- is expected to be launched in late 2002 while a 16M-byte and a 64M-byte device should become available in the first half of 2003, the companies said in a joint statement.

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