Elpida cuts mobile DDR power drain by 90 per cent

Big boost to PDA battery life

Elpida has begun shipping the latest generation of its mobile-specific Mobile RAM memory chips aimed at PDAs, digital cameras, cellphones and other small form-factor devices.

The 256Mb parts come in single data rate SDRAM and 400MHz DDR SDRAM flavours and are fabbed at 0.11 micron. The chips are 90 per cent of the size of solutions based on twin previous-generation 128Mb Mobile RAM chips. The new dies are contained in 9 x 13mm small FBGA packages.

The chips operate at 1.8V, but contain temperature-controlled circuitry that allows each part's self-refresh timer to be set automatically, reducing the part's power consumption by eliminating the need for a connection to an external controller. The new Mobile RAM parts also sport a Deep Power-down mode and partial array self-refresh circuitry to further reduce power consumption.

As a result, the 256Mb DDR chip consumes just ten per cent of the power required by a regular 256Mb DDR device, Elpida claims.

The company is sampling both SDR and DDR parts now. The latter will go into volume production first, next month. SDR output will ramp up in August. The chips will also be offered as plain dies for integration into SoC parts. ®