Infineon aims for 70nm DRAMs in '06
Amid a previously-announced spin-off plan, Infineon Technologies AG's memory unit outlined its technology roadmap to keep pace in the competitive DRAM market.
The company is currently ramping up its 90nm DRAM products, with plans to begin producing 70nm parts by year's end at its 300mm fab in Dresden, Germany, said Bernd Lienhard, vice president of memory products for Infineon.
According to the company, the first 70nm products will be high-performance DDR2 SDRAM devices. "Infineon will be the first company to the 70nm node (in the DRAM market)," he said, noting that the company will beat its rivals to the punch, including Hynix, Samsung, Micron and others.
Nam Hyung Kim, an analyst with iSuppli Corp., confirmed that Infineon is leading the DRAM market, at least in terms of process technology. "Historically, Infineon has been a technology leader," Kim said. "But Infineon's biggest challenge in DRAMs is cost. Infineon's DRAM margins have not been that great."
Another challenge for the company is moving forward on the planned spin-off. Last year, Infineon confirmed that it will spin out its memory business by July 2006 and will then look to an initial public offering of stock. It will then focus on its logic division, continuing to target the automotive, industrial electronics and communications sectors.
Infineon has stated that the company will spin-off its operations on July 1. Wolfgang Ziebart, Infineon's president and chief executive, recently said an IPO is the most attractive solution while adding that a final decision has not yet been taken.
- Mark LaPedus