Report: ProMos leading the pack in 70nm shift

July 24, 2007 – ProMos appears to be the frontrunner among Taiwanese DRAM foundries migrating from 90nm to 70nm processes, in efforts to shave up to 30% in costs, according to the Taiwan Economic News.

ProMos, which gained the 70nm process technology from partner Hynix, has shifted 40% of work at its third fab in Taiwan to the 70nm process, with 80%-85% yields, the paper claims. The 300mm fab’s entire 65,000 wafers/month output is expected to be completely transitioned by October. ProMos, which says its 70nm process increases chip output by 50% vs. the 90nm process at 30% less cost, also plans to utilize the 70nm process at its fourth factory when it starts up next quarter with an estimated 15,000 wpm output, the paper noted.

Meanwhile, PowerChip projects its 70nm process volume will surpass 10,000 wafers/month by the end of July, with better than 80% yields on its pilot lines, and expects its 70nm output to grow at 2x rate in following months, the paper noted. The chipmaker is claiming even better output than ProMos, at 55% more chips than the 90nm process. It’s already using the 70nm process for 512MB DDR2 chips, and has started trial production of 1G chips as well, the paper noted. A timeline for shifting the company’s entire ~70,000 wafers/month capacity to 70nm was not announced.

Later this year will see further 70nm transitions from Inotera Memories Inc. and Nanya Technology Corp. Inotera says it is accelerating its planned 70nm volume production by one quarter to the end of September, shifting a combined 30% capacity at its two 300mm fabs during 4Q, amounting to about 30,000 wafers, the Taiwan paper notes.

Finally, Nanya says its 300mm fab will start pilot production by the end of this month and reach volume production in September, starting with 90nm “and then shift to 70nm process if everything goes smooth,” the Taiwan paper said. The firm’s two 200mm fabs aren’t compatible with the 70nm process, but Nanya plans to secure 70nm capacity from affiliate Inotera when the latter ramps capacity in 4Q, the paper noted.


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