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Samsung Touts Highest Density Memory Chip

Samsung is targeting manufacturers' new generation of "green" PCs with its new technology, which will be used in servers, workstations, desktops, and laptops.

4-Gb DDR3 PC memory chip

4-Gb DDR3 PC memory chip
(click for larger image)

Samsung Electronics on Thursday said it has used its 50-nanometer circuit technology to develop the first 4-Gb DDR3 PC memory chip, which the vendor claims offers more capacity at significantly less power consumption than current DDR3 products.

Samsung is targeting manufacturers' new generation of "green" PCs with its new technology, which will be used in 16-GB dual in-line memory modules, or RDIMM, for servers; 8-GB unbuffered DIMM for workstations and desktop PCs; and 8-GB small-outline DIMM for laptops.

DDR3, a type of DRAM technology, has several advantages over its DDR2 predecessor. Among the primary benefits is the ability to transfer input/output data at eight times the rate, while providing a 30% reduction in power consumption.

"We have leveraged our strength in innovation to develop the first 4-Gb DDR3, in leading the industry to higher DRAM densities," Kevin Lee, VP for technical marketing at Samsung Semiconductor, said in a statement.

By applying its dual-die package technology, Samsung said it can package two 16-GB modules in one dual-die package for a maximum of 32 GB, which is twice the capacity of products based on the previous highest chip density.

Samsung's latest technology operates at 1.35 volts and has a maximum speed of 1.6 Gbps. A 16-GB module, for example, can consume 40% less power than a 2-Gb DDR3 module because the higher density 50-nm technology uses half the number of chips, 32 versus 64.

Samsung plans to convert all its DRAM products to the 50-nm process. The company released its first product in September with the development of a 50-nm 2-Gb DDR3 DRAM. The company also offers 1-Gb DDR3 DRAM.

The number of PCs shipping with DDR3 system memory is expected to increase steadily. DDR3 is expected to account for 72% of the DRAM market in terms of units sold by 2011 from 29% this year, according to IDC.

The market, however, has been hit extremely hard by the economic downturn, which has caused a slump in the PC and consumer electronics market. Samsung this month reported its first-ever quarterly loss, because of a drop in sales of appliances, liquid crystal displays, and memory chips.