55 years of DRAM - What's hot for Winbond?

On June 4, 1968, the DRAM patent filed by IBM’s Robert H. Dennard was granted. To commemorate this anniversary and highlight the evolution of the technology, we have asked some of the manufacturers in our portfolio about their track record in DRAM and how they view the future of the technology. One of them is Winbond, one of the top 5 memory suppliers globally thanks to its expert capabilities of product design, R&D and manufacturing of customer-driven products.

When did you enter DRAM?

Winbond was established in 1987 and successfully developed the first 64K SRAM in 1991. In 1995, we started to develop the manufacturing process with partners and started our first own 8-inch fab in 1997. In 2000 we joined the Fujitsu-Toshiba DRAM development program with 0.13um trench DRAM technology and opened our first 12-inch Taiwan fab in 2004. Winbond’s first mass- produced and self-developed 46nm process technology started from 2011 onwards after we secured a DRAM technology transfer from Qimonda in 2008. Up to now, Winbond already has its 2nd 12-inch fab in Taiwan Kaohsiung that provides our complete DRAM product portfolio with our own technology down to 20nm.

What milestones are you particularly proud of and why?

Winbond has been listed on the Taiwan stock exchange since 1995.

Our fab in Taichung City started operations in 2006 and our Kaohsiung fab following in 2022. This enabled our first own DRAM technology development in Taiwan, starting from 46nm technology, and following 38nm, 25nm in 2015, 25Snm in 2021 and now we are developing 20nm.

We are a Hidden Champion in KGD (Known Good Die), enabling the KGD methodology with DRAM inside a single package from 2009 with a total BOM cost saving.

Winbond introduced the HyperRAM to work with the next generation of MCUs and provide mobile connectivity, low pin count, low power and easy to adopt features. For this technology, Winbond won the 2021 gold awarded memory product from EEtimes.

In 2023, we introduced CUBE ASIC DRAM for Chiplets with 4x lower bit transfer power than LPDDR4. That is a perfect solution for edge AI computing.

Winbond is proud to be deeply engaged in high quality and reliable DRAM for all applications with automotive Tier One manufacturers globally.

What’s hot in DRAM for you now and why?

Winbond is committed to support DDR3 longevity at least up to 2035 to solve the supply concerns from automotive and embedded customers. We entered a partnership program with STMicro on DDR3 longevity supportingSTM32MP1.  

Winbond invest its 2nd FAB with advanced technology node of 20nm and below to support future blooming AIoT, Automotive, Industrial and edge computing applications.

3D chiplet is also blooming and Winbond provides its 3DCaaS (3D CUBE as a Service) to fulfill the needs of future edge AI application.

What’s next in DRAM

We see 2.5D/3D Chiplets as a trend that we address with our CUBE platform as well as a growing use of DRAM for near memory computing or Cache SRAM replacement. DRAM will continue to provide Low density/high bandwidth at lower per bit transfer power

Another trend is HBM (High Bandwidth Memory) for High Performance Computing driven by AI applications like ChatGPT which boost the demand.

Do you think DRAM will ever be replaced by a new technology? 

DRAM won’t be replaced by a new technology, since the controller of an application still needs a memory buffer to support the features. We don’t see DRAM replaced, but it could evolve, and CUBE is a good example.

DRAM still offers unmatched cost efficiency and market readiness, so even emerging memory like RRAM, MRAM will not replace DRAM.

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What's hot for Winbond in DRAM?