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Toshiba Announces 32-megabit FeRAM Developed with Infineon

12 February, 2003


Tokyo -- Toshiba Corporation today announced that Toshiba and Infineon Technologies AG of Germany have together developed a ferroelectric RAM that achieves the highest memory capacity yet reported. The 32 megabit device, the first result of a joint development program initiated by the companies in 2001, integrates technology innovations from both partners, including a "chained" memory cell architecture that is expected to support advances to higher density FeRAM.

FeRAM is a non-volatile RAM, combining the fast operating characteristics of DRAM and SRAM with flash memory's ability to retain data while switched off. FeRAM also offer low power consumption and an immense number of read and write cycles, all of which add up to a technology with the potential for many and diverse applications, including in IC cards and mobile products. The drawback to practical application of this "ultimate non-volatile memory" is memory density and fabrication. The new device reported by Infineon and Toshiba points the way toward overcoming these hurdles.

The new 32M FeRAM bring 0.2 micron process technology to a "chain-cell structure" that links together eight cells to form a cell block. Each cell configures a ferroelectric capacitor and a field effective transistor (FET) in parallel, not in series, the usual structure in FeRAM. Other innovations applied to the new device include capacitor-on-plug technology, a 3-layer metal process and new circuit schemes that improve data reliability against power on noise and achieve a lower stand-by current. The greater operating stability resulting from the improved circuit design increases the range of FeRAM applications.

The technological innovations that Toshiba and Infineon have integrated into the new FeRAM reduce overall area of the chip to only 96mm2--half that of a conventional FeRAM with the same sized cell. The controller area of the chip is cut to 34 percent of the total chip, the smallest proportion yet achieved. This size reduction is also expected to contribute to lower unit costs for FeRAM.

Toshiba and Infineon have collaborated in FeRAM R&D since the beginning of 2001. Today, 50 engineers from both companies are developing FeRAM at Toshiba's Advanced Microelectronics Center and Semiconductor System Technology Center, both located in Yokohama, Japan.

Details of the technologies brought to the achievement for the 32Mb FeRAM were presented at the International Solid State Circuits Conference (ISSCC) 2003, held in San Francisco, USA, on February 11.

Specifications

CMOS Process Technology 0.2 micron CMOS process technology
Memory capacity 32 megabit
Cell size 1.875 square micron
Access time 50 nanoseconds
Cycle time 75 nanoseconds
Power supply 3.0V or 2.5V

About Infineon Technologies

Infineon Technologies AG, Munich, Germany, offers semiconductor and system solutions for the automotive and industrial sectors, for applications in the wired communications markets, secure mobile solutions as well as memory products. With a global presence, Infineon operates in the US from San Jose, CA, in the Asia-Pacific region from Singapore and in Japan from Tokyo. In fiscal year 2002 (ending September), the company achieved sales of Euro 5.21 billion with about 30,400 employees worldwide. Infineon is listed on the DAX index of the Frankfurt Stock Exchange and on the New York Stock Exchange (ticker symbol: IFX). Further information, please visit http://www.infineon.com or contact Infineon's Media Relations department:
Reiner.Schoenrock@Infineon.com +49 89 234 29593 /Fax: 28482

About Toshiba

Toshiba Corporation is a leader in information and communications systems, electronic components, consumer products, and power systems. The company's integration of these wide-ranging capabilities assures its position as a leading company in semiconductors, displays and other electronic devices. Toshiba has 176,000 employees worldwide and annual sales of over US$40 billion. Visit Toshiba's website at http://www.toshiba.co.jp/index.htm.


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