Infineon and Nanya have started making 90nm DRAM memory chips, resulting in smaller chips at lower costs.
The technology is also crucial for the production of higher speed, more power-efficient DRAM chips. The current mainstream chip, 256MB DDR DRAM running at 400MHz, is slowly giving way to the next generation chips, DDR2, which are essential for mobile computing devices like laptop PCs due to power savings features.
In a few years, DDR3 will follow, but to get there DRAM makers have to continue shrinking chip components to ever smaller sizes. Infineon and Nanya said they're already committed to developing the even smaller 70nm technology.
Infineon is converting a plant in Dresden to use 90nm technology, and now about five percent of its global production capacity uses the new technology. Most of its production remains in older 110-nm systems. Along with Nanya, it has started converting production lines to 90nm.
Infineon said the combination of 90nm etching technology on 300mm wafers cuts costs by increasing the output per wafer by as much as 30 percent.
Advances in chip production technology among DRAM makers are a necessary part of their business to ensure cost reductions and the ability to make ever more sophisticated generations of memory chips. The Infineon and Nanya development teams claim they are only the second to roll out 90nm production technology after Samsung.