Toshiba, NEC to develop new memory

Japan's two largest chipmakers, Toshiba and NEC, said on Tuesday they have agreed to jointly develop next-generation memory chips that reduce power consumption to compete with overseas rivals. "By forming a partnership with Toshiba, we would like to accelerate the speed of development and contend against our overseas rivals," an NEC spokesman said.

Under the deal, Japan's top two chipmakers will develop a new kind of memory device, magnetic random-access memory (MRAM) chips, which substantially increase the length of time notebook personal computers and mobile phones can operate on a single battery charge.

The new chips are expected to cut power consumption, retain data when the power is turned off and allow users to erase and re-enter data almost indefinitely.

A Toshiba spokesman said the two companies aim to complete the development of MRAM chip technology by March 2005, but they would not cooperate on commercializing the technology.

News source: ZDNet

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