Hynix claims early high-end graphics memory lead

Good news for a change

ComputerWire: IT Industry Intelligence

Amid continued speculation about its future, South Korea's Hynix Semiconductor Inc last week managed to push some good news out of the door, and announced what it claims to be a three-month lead on its competitors in the development of fast, high-capacity memory parts for graphic applications.

According to the Korea Times, Hynix is close to shipping the world's smallest 256MB DDR SDRAM with a 8Mbx32 configuration and a 350MHz clock speed, or 700 Mbps, the fastest speed available for 256Mb DDR SDRAM. Today's conventional DDR SDRAM part is a 128MB 4Mx32 device which clocks at 333MHz.

The only fly in Hynix's ointment is the market's state of readiness for such a leap in graphics performance. Although the Hynix part will dramatically increase the physical bandwidth available to graphics application developers, it will take time for them to tweak their products to take advantage of it.

In the meantime, competitors are bound to be hot on Hynix's heels with high-end graphics memory parts of their own. Samsung, for instance, said in July that it planned to shift its focus from 128MB to 256MB parts in the third quarter. However, Hynix itself isn't standing still either, and said it plans to release a 400MHz part soon.

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