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Infineon samples low power Mobile-RAM for PDAs

Follows Micron's BAT-RAM

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Infineon has at last begun sampling the 128Mb Mobile-RAM chips - low power SDRAM parts developed specifically for PDA applications - that it announced last February. M-RAM samples had been scheduled to ship during Q2.

The M-RAM chips draw only 20 per cent of the power consumed by a standard 3.3V 128Mb SDRAM part, the chip maker said. How? By cutting the operating voltage to 2.5V, the I/O volatage to between 1.8V and 2.5V and implementing power management circuitry which can switch off the self-refresh feature on individual blocks of memory. The chips use a fine-pitch ball grid array (FPGA) package that's 66 per cent smaller than a standard thin small outline package (TSOP).

Not that there's much here that's Infineon's own technology, you understand. The spec. was developed last year by the semiconductor industry's standards body, JEDEC. Micron too launched its own JEDEC-based PDA-oriented 64Mb memory product earlier this year, dubbed BAT-RAM. Samsung has one too, called utRAM.

Infineon's mobile memory uses a couple of power-saving features, Micron's just one: temperature compensated self-refresh, which adjusts the chip's self-refresh rate and power consumption according to its temperature. MRAM does that too - it also switches off the self-refresh individual parts of the chip.

Infineon's 128Mb M-RAM chips are sampling in 8Mb x 16 and 16Mb x 8 configurations for $15 a pop. Volume production will begin later this year. A 256Mb part is on the cards for 2002. ®

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