TAIPEI, Taiwan Winbond Electronics Corp. will become the first Taiwan-based memory maker to produce Rambus DRAMs, starting with 256-Mbit devices in the fourth quarter.
Winbond hinted that it might get into the RDRAM business about a month ago, but noted at the time that an ample supply was available from Samsung, Toshiba and Elpida. In a statement Wednesday (June 27), the company alluded to a growing demand for RDRAMs from PC OEMs as a reason for entering the market.
Taiwan chip makers account for about 12 percent of the world memory market. Because of the island's minority status in the market, Winbond's ramp up will most likely have a modest impact on supply, analysts have said. The company did not indicate the production volumes targeted with the initial RDRAM ramp up.
Nevertheless, the decision is a feather in the cap of Rambus Inc., which has fought an uphill battle to have RDRAM accepted as a mainstream memory. So far, the rest of Taiwan's memory makers favor double-data-rate DRAM. Vanguard Semiconductor Corp., a subsidiary of Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Co. Ltd., is the only other Taiwanese licensee of Rambus, but it has no immediate plans to produce RDRAMs.
Winbond said would not have to make significant capital investments to get into the RDRAM market because it will be supported by Toshiba Corp., which currently supplies RDRAMs to Sony Corp. for use in its Playstation 2 game consoles.