TSMC Foundry Supports RAMBUS High Speed Interface

HSIN-CHU, TAIWAN AND MOUNTAIN VIEW, CA July 29, 1996 -- Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Company (TSMC) and Rambus Inc. today announced that the Rambus? ASIC Cell (RAC) is available for customer designs on the TSMC 3.3 volt 0.5 micron SPTM CMOS process. The Rambus interface transfers up to 600 megabits per second per data line, which is over eight times faster than conventional high bandwidth memories.

"With our CMOS processing and the Rambus ASIC Cell, system designers will be able to implement higher speed processor and controller solutions," said Dr.C.T. Lee, deputy director of Corporate Marketing at TSMC. "We want our process technologies to be designed into as many important libraries and/or circuit blocks as possible such that our customers have an easy way to submit designs to us for manufacturing."

"The addition of TSMC as a silicon foundry supplier allows our semiconductor partners to work with the world's leading foundry silicon supplier," said Geoff Tate, president of Rambus Inc. "This announcement allows PC or consumer chip set or peripheral IC designers to make use of Rambus' high bandwidth, low system cost advantages for next generation personal multimedia systems."

In order to support high speed Rambus DRAMs, a subsystem controller includes a special interface (the RAC). The RAC is integrated within the controller's I/O pad ring, with minimal impact on the usable die available for logic. The low pin-count Rambus interface enables a lower cost subsystem than can be achieved with alternative memory subsystems. With the use of the Rambus interface, about eighty pins on the controller can be eliminated allowing savings in package size and die area. Due to its narrow, high speed bus, Rambus memory systems are very compact and can be expanded one RDRAM at a time. As opposed to alternative memory systems employing multiple DRAMs on wide data buses, Rambus' smaller minimum memory increment, or granularity, allows lower cost memory expansion, further reducing system cost.

The Rambus ASIC Cell is available for customer design starts now on the TSMC SPTM 3.3V 0.5 micron CMOS process.

Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Company, Ltd. (TSMC) is the world leader in the business of manufacturing silicon wafers and packaged parts for customers who design their own products. Currently one of the largest and fastest-growing dedicated semiconductor foundries in the world, the company is well-known for its utilization of leading-edge CMOS process technology, which has become a foundry standard. Current production technologies in use at the company include the 0.5/0.45 micron logic, mixed signal and 0.35 micron advanced memory chips. The advanced 0.35 micron logic technologies will be available for production in the fourth quarter this year. TSMC is headquartered in Hsin-Chu, Taiwan, and has subsidiaries located throughout the United States and Europe.

Rambus technology has been broadly licensed to leading DRAM, ASIC and PC peripheral chip set suppliers. NEC Corporation, Toshiba Corporation, Samsung Electronics Corporation, Hitachi Ltd., LG Semicon Co., Ltd., and Oki Electric Industry Co., Ltd. are providing Rambus DRAMs. Rambus-based integrated circuit programs are underway for a wide range of system applications such as PC graphics, 3-D workstations, PC main memory, 3-D video games, TV settop cable boxes, and ATM (Asynchronous Transfer Mode) communications. Systems and system chips already publicly announced include Silicon graphics, Inc.'s Indigo IMPACT TM workstations, the Nintendo 64 real-time-3D home game system, Cirrus Logic, Inc.'s Laguna family or graphics controllers, and the Chromatic Research, Inc. MpactTM multimedia processor.