NEC Corp. announced Monday it has joined with three other companies to develop next generation high-speed memory chips for networking applications.

The Tokyo-based company is to join a development effort already started by Micron Technology Inc., IDT Inc. and Cypress Semiconductor Corp. that is working to design and manufacture Quad Data Rate static RAMs (QDR SRAMs). First generation QDR SRAMs entered sample production a year ago and Micron began offering them commercially in September last year.

“With demand for networking equipment being so strong and the products advancing fast, standard SRAM cannot cope with the demands being put upon it,” said Aston Bridgman [CQ], a spokesman for NEC. The QDR SRAM, he said, is designed to replace current SRAM chips and meet current and future demands in network switching and routing applications.

With the addition of NEC to the project, the companies will now work on production of second-generation chips that are likely to be smaller in size and faster. The first prototypes operate at 333MHz, significantly faster than current SRAM chips, and can hold 18M bits of data. NEC is eyeing production of similar 18M-bit chips produced at 0.15 or 0.16-micron technologies.

More information on QDR SRAM can be found online at

NEC, in Tokyo, can contacted at Micron Technology, in Boise, Idaho, can be reached at Cypress, based in San Jose, Calif., can be reached at IDT, in Santa Clara, Calif., can be contacted at

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