TEXAS INSTRUMENTS AND HITACHI TO JOINTLY DEVELOP 64-MEGABIT DRAM,
STRENGTHEN COOPERATIVE RELATIONSHIP
TOKYO, Nov. 20 /PRNewswire/ -- Texas Instruments (NYSE: TXN) (TI) and Hitachi, Ltd. (NYSE: HIT) today announced an agreement to jointly develop a 64-megabit dynamic random-access memory (DRAM) integrated circuit and associated production technology. Joint pilot production is also envisaged under the agreement, although volume production and marketing will be carried out separately by each company.
This new, 10-year agreement, which builds on a previous cooperative program related to 16-megabit DRAM technology, strengthens the relationship between TI and Hitachi.
Under the agreement, TI and Hitachi will jointly develop a common design and manufacturing process with 0.35-micron design rules. This means that the minimum feature size of structures on the silicon chip will be only 0.35 microns in width (a human hair is 75 microns in width).
Technology at the 0.35-micron level will be essential to virtually all semiconductors over the next decade. Because minimum feature sizes, measured in microns, have decreased steadily, semiconductor manufacturers have been able to put more and more functions onto a single chip, enabling more compact and more powerful electronic products. Successful technology at smaller design-rule levels is essential for such improvement to continue.
"The most important thing about the 64-megabit DRAM is that it will be the first semiconductor product to use 0.35-micron technology, and it will teach us how to produce other advanced products at the 0.35-micron level. By teaming on this project, each company can reduce the R&D investment needed to develop this technology and also explore more technology paths than would be possible alone. This will help ensure that both companies have the best 0.35-micron technology for memory and advanced logic semiconductors," said William P. (Pat) Weber, president of TI's Semiconductor Group.
Under the agreement, TI and Hitachi will form a joint design organization in Japan, where design work will be conducted under a joint management structure. Joint working groups also will be formed in the areas of design automation, process technology development, packaging, and reliability and qualification.
Also included in the new agreement are patent licenses for
64-megabit DRAMs from each company to the other. Among the patents under which Hitachi is licensed is TI's Japanese patent 320,275, the Kilby patent.
The 64-megabit DRAM agreement builds on an earlier agreement between TI and Hitachi, announced December 22, 1988, for the sharing of technology related to 16-megabit DRAM development at the 0.5-micron level. That agreement is ongoing and has resulted in both companies being among the first to sample their own 16-megabit DRAMs. It also resulted in development of an advanced package that can accommodate larger chips. Independently designed and manufactured 16-megabit DRAMs are in early evaluation by customers of both companies.
"The previous agreement enabled our two companies to share our respective technologies, and made it possible for both of us to realize benefits greater than either would have been able to achieve independently," said Kazuo Kimbara, senior executive managing director and group executive of Hitachi's Electronic Devices Group. "The success of the first agreement was a key factor in our decision to extend our cooperative effort with TI to the development of a 64-megabit DRAM."
Added Weber: "Rather than simply sharing technology as before, this agreement will allow us to jointly develop the next generation of submicron CMOS processes and cooperatively design a 64-megabit memory device. This new agreement extends our close relationship through the next decade and leaves the door open for further cooperation."
Said Kimbara: "The new agreement comes at a time when the need for international cooperation is being felt more strongly than ever before. We expect this agreement to be very significant in furthering collaboration between the two companies in this state-of-the-art technology."
Texas Instruments Incorporated, headquartered in Dallas, is a high- technology company with sales and manufacturing operations in more than 30 countries. TI develops, manufactures and markets semiconductors, defense electronics systems, software productivity tools, computer systems and peripheral products, custom engineering and manufacturing services, electrical controls, metallurgical materials, and consumer electronic products.
Hitachi Ltd., headquartered in Tokyo, is one of the world's largest electronic and electrical equipment manufacturers, with operations extending to computers, semiconductors, household appliances, power generating equipment and industrial machinery. Hitachi's 1990 sales totaled $54.9 billion.
Technical notes from TI:
The 64-megabit DRAM will contain 143 million transistors and will be capable of storing 2,800 pages of uncompressed text. Both TI and Hitachi have had 64-megabit design work under way. This existing work will form the basis for the new joint effort.
According to industry statistics, the 4-megabit DRAM is ramping to become the industry-standard memory chip, with an estimated 135 million chips being shipped in 1991. Production of 1-megabit DRAM products is phasing down, even though shipments are expected to be about 850 million units this year. By the end of its life cycle, more than 4 billion 1-megabit DRAMs from manufacturers like TI and Hitachi will have been shipped.
/CONTACT: Terri West, 214-995-2984, or Ted Jernigan, 214-997-5467, both of Texas Instruments; or Osamu Naito, 914-332-5800, or Harry McGrath, 914-333-2904, both of Hitachi/
/NOTE TO THE EDITOR: Do not publish these numbers/
(TXN HIT) CO: Texas Instruments; Hitachi, Ltd. ST: Texas IN: CPR SU: JVN TS -- NY005 -- 5221 11/20/91 07:51 EST