Z-RAM to Take on DRAM with Hynix Deal

Swiss company's technology could double the density of memory chips

2 min read

13 August 2007—The Swiss memory company Innovative Silicon says it has struck a deal to license its technology to the No. 2 maker of standalone DRAM memory chips, Hynix Semiconductor, based in Inchon, South Korea. The technology, called Z-RAM (for zero-capacitor DRAM), could potentially double the density of Hynix’s memory chips. Until now, Innovative Silicon’s technology had been considered only for use as memory embedded on microprocessors and other logic chips, where it would replace or augment caches of SRAM. The deal moves Innovative Silicon, based in Lausanne, Switzerland, into a new market worth more than US $30 billion, making the total market it could serve more than $100 billion. During an interview with IEEE Spectrum last year, Innovative Silicon’s CEO, Mark-Eric Jones hinted that a DRAM license was in the works.

Sung-Joo Hong, vice president of R&D at Hynix calls Z-RAM ”an elegant approach to manufacture dense DRAMs.” The technology could help Hynix create a whole new platform of products, he adds.

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The State of the Transistor in 3 Charts

In 75 years, it’s become tiny, mighty, ubiquitous, and just plain weird

3 min read
A photo of 3 different transistors.

The most obvious change in transistor technology in the last 75 years has been just how many we can make. Reducing the size of the device has been a titanic effort and a fantastically successful one, as these charts show. But size isn’t the only feature engineers have been improving.

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