Elpida Memory

Last updated
Elpida Memory, Inc.
TypeSubsidiary
Industry Semiconductor industry
Founded1999
FateAcquired by Micron Technology
Headquarters,
Products DRAM
Number of employees
3196
Parent Micron Technology
Website www.elpida.com

Elpida Memory, Inc. (エルピーダメモリ株式会社, Erupīda Memori Kabushiki-gaisha) was a corporation established in 1999 that developed, designed, manufactured and sold dynamic random-access memory (DRAM) products. It was also a semiconductor foundry. With headquarters in Yaesu, Chūō, Tokyo, Japan, it was initially formed under the name NEC Hitachi Memory in 1999 by the merger of the Hitachi and NEC DRAM businesses. In the following year it took on the name Elpida. In 2003, Elpida took over the Mitsubishi DRAM business. In 2004, it listed its shares in the first section of the Tokyo Stock Exchange. In 2012, those shares were delisted as a result of its bankruptcy. In 2013, Elpida was acquired by Micron Technology. [1]

Contents

History

Elpida Memory was founded in 1999 as a merger of NEC's and Hitachi's DRAM operation and began development operations for DRAM products in 2000.

In 2001, the company began construction of its 300mm wafer fabrication plant. Later that year, it began sales operations in domestic markets.

In 2003, the company took over Mitsubishi Electric Corporation's DRAM operations and employed Mitsubishi development engineers.

In 2004, Elpida Memory went public and was listed on the Tokyo Stock Exchange.

In 2006, the company established Akita Elpida to take on the development of advanced back-end technology processes.

In March 2006, Elpida reported consolidated sales of 241,500,000,000 Japanese yen. It employed 3196 people.

In 2002, armed with the Sherman Antitrust Act, the United States Department of Justice began a probe into the activities of dynamic random access memory (DRAM) manufacturers. US computer makers, including Dell and Gateway, claimed that inflated DRAM pricing was causing lost profits and hindering their effectiveness in the marketplace. To date, five manufacturers have pleaded guilty to their involvement in an international price-fixing conspiracy including Hynix, Infineon, Micron Technology, Samsung, and Elpida. Micron Technology was not fined for its involvement due to co-operation with investigators.

The company received 140 billion yen in financial aid and loans from the Japanese government and banks during the financial crisis in 2009. [2]

On April 3, 2010, Elpida Memory sold ¥18.5billion worth of shares to Kingston Technology [3]

On April 22, 2010, Elpida announced it had developed the world's first four-gigabit DDR3 SDRAM. Based on a 40 nm process, this DRAM was said to use about thirty percent less power compared to two 40 nm process two-gigabit DDR3 SDRAMs. It was to operate at both standard DDR3 1.5 V and 1.35 V to further reduce power consumption. [4]

In July 2011, Elpida announced that it planned to raise $987 million by selling shares and bonds. [5] In August 2011, Elpida claimed to be the first memory maker to begin sampling 25 nm DRAMs. [6]

On February 27, 2012, Elpida filed for bankruptcy. [7] [8] With liabilities of 448 billion yen (US$5.5 billion), the company's bankruptcy was Japan's largest since Japan Airlines bankrupted in January 2010. [2] The company suffered from both strong yen and a sharp drop of DRAM prices as a result of stagnant demand of personal computers and disruption of computer production caused by flooding in Thailand. [2] DRAM prices plunged to a record low in 2011 as the price of the benchmark DDR3 2-gigabit DRAM declined 85%. [2] Elpida was the third largest DRAM maker, held 18 percent of the market by revenue in 2011. [2]

On March 28, 2012, Elpida was delisted from the Tokyo Stock Exchange. [9] At the time, Elpida was one of the suppliers of SDRAM components for the A6 processor in the Apple iPhone 5. [10]

In February 2013, Tokyo court and Elpida creditors approved an acquisition by Micron Technology. [11]

The company became a fully owned subsidiary of Micron Technology on July 31, 2013. [12]

Effective February 28, 2014, Elpida changed its name to Micron Memory Japan and Elpida Akita changed its name to Micron Akita, Inc. [13]

Products

See also

Related Research Articles

DDR SDRAM Type of computer memory

Double Data Rate Synchronous Dynamic Random-Access Memory is a double data rate (DDR) synchronous dynamic random-access memory (SDRAM) class of memory integrated circuits used in computers. DDR SDRAM, also retroactively called DDR1 SDRAM, has been superseded by DDR2 SDRAM, DDR3 SDRAM, DDR4 SDRAM and DDR5 SDRAM. None of its successors are forward or backward compatible with DDR1 SDRAM, meaning DDR2, DDR3, DDR4 and DDR5 memory modules will not work in DDR1-equipped motherboards, and vice versa.

Dynamic random-access memory Type of computer memory

Dynamic random-access memory is a type of random-access semiconductor memory that stores each bit of data in a memory cell consisting of a tiny capacitor and a transistor, both typically based on metal-oxide-semiconductor (MOS) technology. The capacitor can either be charged or discharged; these two states are taken to represent the two values of a bit, conventionally called 0 and 1. The electric charge on the capacitors slowly leaks off, so without intervention the data on the chip would soon be lost. To prevent this, DRAM requires an external memory refresh circuit which periodically rewrites the data in the capacitors, restoring them to their original charge. This refresh process is the defining characteristic of dynamic random-access memory, in contrast to static random-access memory (SRAM) which does not require data to be refreshed. Unlike flash memory, DRAM is volatile memory, since it loses its data quickly when power is removed. However, DRAM does exhibit limited data remanence.

Synchronous dynamic random-access memory Type of computer memory

Synchronous dynamic random-access memory is any DRAM where the operation of its external pin interface is coordinated by an externally supplied clock signal.

Hitachi Japanese multinational engineering and electronics company

Hitachi, Ltd. is a Japanese multinational conglomerate company headquartered in Chiyoda, Tokyo, Japan. It is the parent company of the Hitachi Group and had formed part of the Nissan zaibatsu and later DKB Group of companies before DKB merged into the Mizuho Financial Group. As of 2020, Hitachi conducts business ranging from IT, including AI, the Internet of Things, and big data, to infrastructure.

Renesas Electronics Corporation is a Japanese semiconductor manufacturer headquartered in Tokyo, Japan, initially incorporated in 2002 as Renesas Technology, the consolidated entity of the semiconductor units of Hitachi and Mitsubishi excluding their dynamic random-access memory businesses, to which NEC Electronics merged in 2010, resulting in a minor change in the corporate name and logo to as it is now.

Micron Technology American company producing semiconductor devices

Micron Technology, Inc. is an American producer of computer memory and computer data storage including dynamic random-access memory, flash memory, and USB flash drives. It is headquartered in Boise, Idaho. Its consumer products are marketed under the brands Crucial and Ballistix. Micron and Intel together created IM Flash Technologies, which produces NAND flash memory. It owned Lexar between 2006 and 2017.

Rambus Incorporated, founded in 1990, is an American technology company that designs, develops and licenses chip interface technologies and architectures that are used in digital electronics products. The company is well known for inventing RDRAM and for its intellectual property-based litigation following the introduction of DDR-SDRAM memory.

The 90 nm process refers to the level of MOSFET (CMOS) fabrication process technology that was commercialized by the 2003–2005 timeframe, by leading semiconductor companies like Toshiba, Sony, Samsung, IBM, Intel, Fujitsu, TSMC, Elpida, AMD, Infineon, Texas Instruments and Micron Technology.

The 32 nm node is the step following the 45 nm process in CMOS (MOSFET) semiconductor device fabrication. "32-nanometre" refers to the average half-pitch of a memory cell at this technology level. Toshiba produced commercial 32 GiB NAND flash memory chips with the 32 nm process in 2009. Intel and AMD produced commercial microchips using the 32-nanometre process in the early 2010s. IBM and the Common Platform also developed a 32 nm high-κ metal gate process. Intel began selling its first 32 nm processors using the Westmere architecture on 7 January 2010.

Transistor count Number of transistors in a device

The transistor count is the number of transistors in an electronic device. It typically refers to the number of MOSFETs on an integrated circuit (IC) chip, as all modern ICs use MOSFETs. It is the most common measure of IC complexity. The rate at which MOS transistor counts have increased generally follows Moore's law, which observed that the transistor count doubles approximately every two years.

Qimonda 2006–2011 German computer memory manufacturer

Qimonda AG was a German memory company split out of Infineon Technologies on 1 May 2006 to form at the time the second largest DRAM company worldwide, according to the industry research firm Gartner Dataquest. It was a patent licensing firm until Micron and others purchased its patents. Headquartered in Munich, Qimonda was a 300 mm manufacturer and was one of the top suppliers of DRAM products for the PC and server markets. Infineon still controls a 77.5% stake, which it has written down (2008). Infineon was on record as having the aim of divesting itself of this stake, with the purpose of becoming a minority stakeholder in 2009. The company has issued 42 million ADR shares, each ADR share representing one ordinary share in Qimonda.

GDDR5 SDRAM Type of high performance DRAM graphics card memory

Graphics Double Data Rate 5 Synchronous Dynamic Random-Access Memory is a type of synchronous graphics random-access memory (SGRAM) with a high bandwidth interface designed for use in graphics cards, game consoles, and high-performance computing. It is a type of GDDR SDRAM.

The 250 nm process refers to a level of MOSFET (CMOS) semiconductor process technology that was commercialized by semiconductor manufacturers around the 1996–1998 timeframe.

The 800 nm process refers to the level of MOSFET semiconductor fabrication process technology that was reached around the 1987–1990 timeframe, by leading semiconductor companies like NTT, NEC, Toshiba, IBM, Hitachi, Matsushita, Mitsubishi Electric and Intel.

Double Data Rate 4 Synchronous Dynamic Random-Access Memory is a type of synchronous dynamic random-access memory with a high bandwidth interface.

Random-access memory Form of computer data storage

Random-access memory is a form of computer memory that can be read and changed in any order, typically used to store working data and machine code. A random-access memory device allows data items to be read or written in almost the same amount of time irrespective of the physical location of data inside the memory. In contrast, with other direct-access data storage media such as hard disks, CD-RWs, DVD-RWs and the older magnetic tapes and drum memory, the time required to read and write data items varies significantly depending on their physical locations on the recording medium, due to mechanical limitations such as media rotation speeds and arm movement.

LPDDR Computer hardware

LPDDR, an abbreviation for Low-Power Double Data Rate, also known as Low-Power DDR SDRAM or LPDDR SDRAM, is a type of double data rate synchronous dynamic random-access memory that consumes less power and is targeted for mobile computers. It is also known as Mobile DDR, and abbreviated as mDDR.

GDDR3 SDRAM

GDDR3 SDRAM is a type of DDR SDRAM specialized for graphics processing units (GPUs) offering less access latency and greater device bandwidths. Its specification was developed by ATI Technologies in collaboration with DRAM vendors including Elpida Memory, Hynix Semiconductor, Infineon and Micron. It was later adopted as a JEDEC standard.

High Bandwidth Memory Type of memory used on processors that require high speed memory

High Bandwidth Memory (HBM) is a high-speed computer memory interface for 3D-stacked synchronous dynamic random-access memory (SDRAM) initially from Samsung, AMD and SK Hynix. It is used in conjunction with high-performance graphics accelerators, network devices, high-performance datacenter AI ASICs and FPGAs and in some supercomputers. The first HBM memory chip was produced by SK Hynix in 2013, and the first devices to use HBM were the AMD Fiji GPUs in 2015.

References

  1. Dylan McGrath, EETimes. "Micron Closes Elpida Acquisition." July 31, 2013. Retrieved June 30, 2017.
  2. 1 2 3 4 5 Naoko Fujimura and Jun Yang (Feb 28, 2012). "Elpida Falls as Lack of Smartphone Strategy Spurs Japan Bankruptcy Filing". Bloomberg.
  3. Elpida to raise Y18.5 billion via share sale to U.S. partner
  4. Phys.org. "Elpida Completes Development of 4-Gigabit DDR3 SDRAM, Industry's Highest Density DDR3." Apr 23, 2010. Retrieved May 30, 2018.
  5. "Elpida to Sell 79.7 Billion Yen in Shares, Convertible Bonds - Bloomberg". bloomberg.com. 2011. Retrieved 2 August 2011.
  6. EE Times. "Elpida says its sampling first 25-nm DRAMs Archived." August 4, 2011. Retrieved August 5, 2011.
  7. "Chip manufacturer Elpida is bankrupt - Heise". heise.de. 2012. Retrieved 27 February 2012.
  8. Elpida press release, dated 27 February 2012. Retrieved 28 February 2012.
  9. Laskoski, Madeline (March 29, 2012). "Elpida Collapse to Boost Micron, Samsung: Pro". CNBC . Retrieved March 31, 2012.
  10. The Next Web. "."September 21, 2012. Retrieved July 6, 2016
  11. Sacramento Bee. ". "February 28th, 2013. Retrieved April 16, 2013
  12. Elpida Press Release. ". "July 31, 2013. Retrieved October 22, 2013
  13. Elpida acquisition FAQs "" Retrieved November 07, 2014