Safety in memory numbers
ProMOS Technologies has started churning out 63nm for Elpida Memory DDR3 products, according to Digitimes. Meanwhile Rexchip Electronics is set to significantly ramp up chip production using the same node prior to a process shift to 45nm.
Apparently ProMOS has quietly moved up its schedule start production based on Elpida's process technology. Mass production on 63nm for Elpida's DDR3 memory is expected to be flat out by the second half of 2010, and by the end of the year its monthly output for the chip is estimated at 35,000 wafer starts.
This is the product of a deal signed late last year between Elpida and ProMOS. Under the deal Elpida was to provide ProMOS with advanced process technologies in exchange for the Taiwan partner's capacity for the manufacture of its DDR3 chips.
Rexchip is Elpida's production subsidiary in Taiwan. It has been expected to produce sub-50nm chips for ages but it had been held up by delays in making the immersion scanners needed for the process. Rexchip should be flat out making chips on 45nm in the second quarter.
Apparently Rexchip has expanded output of its DDR3 chips using Elpida's 63nm, while queuing up to receive immersion equipment for its planned technology transition to sub-50nm. Those immersion tools that Rexchip has ordered will not now be installed until May.
The outfit plans to increase its monthly output on 63nm, aiming to reach 50,000-60,000 wafer starts from 20,000 originally. Once the outfits start churning out Elpida's 63nm chips then production costs are expected to fall.
Spot market prices for 1Gb DDR2 chips and same-density DDR3 have recently gone up to top US$3.