Samsung pushes DDR memory to 300MHz

Samsung Electronics Co. Ltd. will begin mass production later this year of its fastest consumer computer memory chip yet, the Seoul-based company said Thursday.

The new chip, a 300MHz DDR (Double Data Rate) SDRAM (Synchronous Dynamic Random Access Memory), has a capacity of 64M bits and will go into mass production during the third quarter, the company said in a statement. The chip represents a generational leap over today’s fastest DDR memory chips, which can operate at 266MHz.

DDR SDRAMs, viewed as next-generation memory chips, operate at twice the speed of conventional SDRAMs. This means they can process twice the amount of data as conventional chips – 2.4 gigabytes per second in the case of Samsung’s new chip – so they are being targeted for use in machines that will have to perform memory intensive calculations. Such applications include computer workstations, networking equipment, digital televisions and the latest breed of home PC with 1GHz and faster processors.

The main competition for the chips comes from Rambus DRAMs, which also offer a high-speed performance based on a memory interface designed by Rambus Inc. Samsung Electronics is already the world’s largest manufacturer of Rambus DRAMs and DDR SDRAMs, with a 65 per cent and 50 per cent share in the respective world markets, according to the company’s own figures.

Announcing the chip Thursday, the company said it would target the chip for use in computer graphics cards and hopes to use it to “take the lead in the market for DDR devices used in graphics cards and networks.”

Samsung Electronics, in Seoul, can be contacted at