July 26, 1999 in Social Responsibility News

SAMSUNG Electronics Develops 4Mb FRAM

SEOUL, Korea - July 23, 1999 - With the advent of the multimedia age, competition is heating up over the development of semiconductors combining high capacity, fast operating speeds and non-volatile data retention.

Samsung Electronics has become the first in the industry to develop a 4Mb Ferroelectric Random Access Memory (FRAM), a device incorporating the strengths of DRAM (Dynamic Random Access Memory), SRAM (Static Random Access Memory) and Flash memory.

The FRAM is easy to design-in, and can be used for data storage applications which have traditionally used DRAM. At the same time, it has the high-speed processing capability of SRAM and the non-volatility of Flash. Since all these advantages are featured in a single device, it is being hailed as the ultimate memory component of the next millennium.

Historically, the biggest obstacle to FRAM production has been in developing high-density components. Samsung has become the first in the industry to develop a FRAM with a memory capacity of 4Mb, while competitors in Japan, Europe and the US are still working on 256Kb versions.

Samsung`s new FRAM has sixteen times the capacity of a 256Kb FRAM. It operates on just 3.3 volts of power and processes data in 75 nanoseconds. These capabilities make it well suited for use in mobile phones and other portable multimedia products.

Most importantly, it features a one-transistor-per-cell (1T/1C) structure and uses the sophisticated Capacitor Over Bitline (COB) technology. This allows the Samsung 4Mb FRAM to be just half the size of other FRAM devices, which have a much smaller 256Kb memory capacity. This technology breakthrough positions Samsung at least two years ahead of its competition.

The FRAM has already been recognized as the best-performing device in the memory semiconductor business. However, previous low-density versions have limited FRAM applications to a few products, such as electronic games. Now, Samsung Electronics` high-capacity FRAM is expected to expand its use to a wider range of applications, including mobile phones, PDAs (personal digital assistants), smart phones, and smart cards. The many advantages of the FRAM will see its demand rise quickly with the increase in multimedia products. By 2005, the world FRAM market is expected to be at least US$15 billion a year.

Samsung Electronics will have engineering samples of its new 4Mb FRAM ready by the end of this year. The company, which already enjoys the world`s leading position in DRAMs, is now a step ahead of the competition in the FRAM market.

About Samsung Electronics
Samsung Electronics Co., Ltd., with 1998 sales revenue of US$16.6 billion, is a world leader in the electronics industry. The Korean-based firm has operations in 46 countries with 42,000 employees worldwide. The company consists of three main business units: Multimedia & Home Appliances, Semiconductors and Information & Telecommunications. For more information, please visit our website, http://samsungelectronics.com

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