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2Feb/110

OKI AND SYMETRIX ANNOUNCE A BROAD COOPERATION AGREEMENT FOR THE COMMERCIALIZATION OF FeRAMS

(PRWEB) February 21, 2003

Tokyo, Japan, Colorado Springs, February 19, 2003 -- Oki Electric Industry Co., Ltd. (TSE: 6703) of Tokyo, Japan and Symetrix Corporation of Colorado Springs, Colorado, USA have announced a Cooperation and Licensing Agreement for the joint commercialization of advanced NDRO (Non-Destructive Read Out) FeRAMs (Ferroelectric Random Access Memories) based on Symetrix' new Trinion Cell technology. Under the agreement, Symetrix licenses its NDRO-FeRAM technology to Oki, and they collaborate on the development of a 16-Mbit FeRAM. It is also agreed that Oki will provide Symetrix with foundry services from its 0.25-micron fabrication facility.

"The partnership with Symetrix is an essential one, as NDRO-FeRAM is a product that responds to the customer needs for lower-power consumption advanced non-volatile memories," stated Katsuhiko Sano, President of Silicon Solutions Company at Oki Electric. "Through the provision of the foundry function by Oki, we believe that both companies can contribute to expansion of the market, as well."

"This is an important development for FeRAMs and for Symetrix," said Dr. Carlos Paz de Araujo, Chairman of Symetrix. "We are excited to be working with a great company like Oki as Symetrix begins offering commercial FeRAM products. Our new Trinion cell is a major breakthrough for high density FeRAMs in both speed and power, and Oki will provide us with first-class manufacturing capacity."

Oki has previously licensed FeRAM technology from Symetrix, and will begin shipping embedded FeRAM devices this year based on the licensed technology. Devices that use this technology provide lower power consumption and faster write speeds than other non-volatile memories such as flash.

Building on this prior success, Symetrix and Oki have now agreed to increase the scope of the license to include the Symetrix high-speed and high-density next generation memory cell, "Trinion Cell." This represents a breakthrough in FeRAMs as it provides large memories like those of 16-Mbit devices with extremely fast cycle times of less than 20 nanoseconds, while operating at a mere 1.8 volts for both read and write operations.

The Trinion Cell also provides NDRO technology that enables the cell to be read an infinite number of times, unlike destructive-read memories, which can only be read a limited number of times. This characteristic expands FeRAM's applications, including its use for programming memory. In addition, the cell makes optimal use of the already low-fatigue layered perovskite (Y-1) technology owned by Symetrix.

Oki's expertise in manufacturing and product reliability was a major determining factor in Symetrix entering into this collaboration. The two companies have conducted research and development for the past three years, culminating in the licensing of Oki by Symetrix. Now, under the new expanded licensing and cooperation agreement, Oki will also provide foundry services for Symetrix and other licensees of its FeRAM technology.

The companies expect to have engineering samples by the end of the year, and both companies will be marketing this product for use in mobile devices such as mobile phones, PDAs, and game machines. Embedded products will enter the market first, followed by stand-alone memories. As a result, the alliance of Oki and Symetrix, the first sub-100-nanosecond high-density FeRAM devices will enter the world market.

Summary of 16Mbit FeRAM Technical Data Jointly Developed by Oki and Symetrix

1. Low power operation

2. No read fatigue (NDRO)

3. 1012 to 1014 write endurance

4. 0.25-micron geometry with 1.8-V operation

5. Competitive die sizes (smaller than SRAM)

6. SRAM-like speeds (cycle time of 13-20 nanoseconds)

7. Non-volatile (FeRAM)

8. Embedded and stand-alone 16-Mbit versions (and smaller)

9. Single with selectivity (completely random access)

About Oki Electric Industry Co., Ltd.:

Founded more than a century ago in 1881, Oki Electric Industry Co., Ltd. is Japan's first telecommunications manufacturer, headquartered in Tokyo, Japan. Oki Electric provides customers with top-quality products, technologies and solutions for telecommunications systems, information systems and electronic devices through its corporate vision, "Oki, Network Solutions for a Global Society." Visit Oki's global web site at http://www.oki.com/.

About Symetrix Corp.:

Symetrix was founded in 1986 as a materials research and development company. Based in Colorado Springs, Colorado, USA, Symetrix is a world leader in the development of ferroelectric materials technology for the semiconductor industry. Licensees of Symetrixf technology include major semiconductor manufacturers in Asia, Europe and the US. To find out more about Symetrix please call 1-719-594-6145.

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