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Spansion Helps to Reduce Energy Consumption in Internet Data Center Servers by up to 75 Percent and Expand Memory Capacity | Cypress Semiconductor

Spansion Helps to Reduce Energy Consumption in Internet Data Center Servers by up to 75 Percent and Expand Memory Capacity

Last Updated: June 24, 2008

New Spansion(R) EcoRAM(TM) memory to help solve the burgeoning data center energy crisis

SUNNYVALE, Calif., June 24, 2008 -- Spansion Inc. (Nasdaq: SPSN), the world's largest pure-play provider of Flash memory solutions, today unveiled plans for a new class of memory, called Spansion(R) EcoRAM(TM), designed to solve the growing energy consumption crisis in Internet data centers by replacing power-hungry DRAM in data center servers. When combined with Virident Systems, Inc.'s new GreenGateway technology announced today, Spansion EcoRAM can help slash energy consumption by up to 75 percent in Internet data center servers, and offer four times the memory capacity of traditional DRAM-only servers for the same energy consumption.

The Data Center Energy Crisis

According to recent reports from Dr. Jonathan Koomey, an expert in energy efficiency and a Consulting Professor at Stanford University, data centers are an important and rapidly growing consumer of electricity. Between 2000 and 2005, data center energy consumption doubled, from a total of 71 billion kilowatt hours per year (kWh/yr) to over 150 billion kWh/yr, with the U.S. and Europe responsible for about two-thirds of the total. If current trends persist, data center electricity use will continue to grow at a rapid pace, with Asia's growth outpacing the rest of the world.

"With Spansion EcoRAM and Virident's GreenGateway, we have the potential to cut the world's energy consumption in Internet data center servers by up to 75 percent and reduce the total cost of ownership for Internet companies," said Bertrand Cambou, Spansion president and CEO. "The application of MirrorBit technology to the Internet Server market is a critical milestone in our move to extend the applicability of this technology beyond the traditional NOR Flash memory segment."

Spansion EcoRAM Advantages over other Memory Options

Internet data center servers use DRAM in Dual-in-line Memory Modules (DIMMs) to provide virtually instantaneous access to data. These systems additionally use conventional hard drives for deeper content storage, such as lower-ranked search information. DRAM offers fast access to data, but consumes tremendous amounts of power. In addition, the amount of DRAM in a single server is limited due to energy constraints at the DIMM level and a limited number of DIMM sockets, requiring IT managers to increase the total number of servers in their data centers to meet the burgeoning need for instant access to data with increased capacity.

Due to the requirement for high-performance random access to provide virtually instantaneous data access, Internet data center servers can not utilize NAND Flash memory, which features 1/800th the random read performance of DRAM. Hard disk drives, even Solid State Disks, do not support the random read performance required.

Traditional NOR Flash memory in general is moving ahead of DRAM to smaller process nodes and lower power consumption, but features slower write performance and lower density than required.

Spansion EcoRAM transcends the available memory alternatives, with significant potential benefits for data center solutions:

-- Read performance to meet the requirements for fast random access

-- 1/8 the energy consumption of DRAM

-- 10x the reliability compared to DRAM

-- Die densities two-to-four times greater than conventional floating gate NOR

-- Write performance two-to-ten times greater than that of traditional NOR Flash memory

With power consumption a fraction of DRAM, Spansion EcoRAM takes advantage of the fast read and write speeds of the MirrorBit Eclipse architecture, and enables eight times more capacity per DIMM, which creates the potential for IT managers to replace four conventional DRAM-based servers with only one Spansion EcoRAM-based server. In April 2007, Spansion announced its MirrorBit Eclipse architecture, which combines MirrorBit NOR and ORNAND on a single die, and was specifically designed to feature high-performance read and write performance at high densities for these types of applications.

"There is a class of applications in data centers that are constrained by the addressable main memory a server can handle. Solutions such as Spansion's, revolving around creative use of technology are critical for solving the growing energy crisis in data centers," said Rufus Connell, vice president, North American ICT (Information and Communication Technology) Research Practice for Frost & Sullivan, an industry consulting company that focuses on market research and analysis for corporate growth. "As memory-bounded apps such as search use grow, conventional server architectures are failing to keep up with the increasing number of queries per second from consumers, which means more servers are needed and more power is needed to run and cool them. It is a real problem for data center operators globally and a solution to help save energy and reduce total cost of ownership is needed sooner rather than later."

With Spansion EcoRAM and Virident's GreenGateway, Spansion and Virident have created a way to re-architect the memory subsystem so it is still compatible with existing server designs. This is accomplished by leveraging the standard memory DIMM form factor while requiring little platform modification. The complete solution will empower IT Internet data center managers to break from the constraints of DRAM-only servers, and offer higher performance and a richer experience for Internet users by adding up to four times the memory capacity in the data center without increasing power consumption.

"Virident's driving vision has been to break the limitations imposed by a compute-centric platform in the Internet data center," said Raj Parekh, president and CEO of Virident. "GreenGateway, conceived and designed by Virident, and encompassing silicon, software and hardware innovation, uniquely creates a data centric solution delivering increased performance and lower energy consumption with existing server architectures. Virident's innovation, together with Spansion EcoRAM, makes both green and growth possible in the data center."

For additional information about Spansion's new solution, please go to and click on Data Center Solution Executive Summary or White Paper. For information about Virident, please go to

About MirrorBit(R) Technology

MirrorBit technology offers higher yields than traditional floating gate NOR, and scales more easily to higher densities. When compared with floating gate NOR technology, MirrorBit technology offers a simpler memory cell, which requires fewer critical manufacturing steps to produce than competing floating gate technologies. As a result, MirrorBit technology can be produced at a lower overall wafer cost.

About Spansion

Spansion is a leading Flash memory solutions provider, dedicated to enabling, storing and protecting digital content in wireless, automotive, networking and consumer electronics applications. Spansion, previously a joint venture of AMD and Fujitsu, is the largest company in the world dedicated exclusively to designing, developing, manufacturing, marketing and selling Flash memory solutions. For more information, visit

About Virident

Virident is the creator of the first green data-centric technology platform that will deliver a new class of green memory, servers and applications for the data center. Virident's core technology platform delivers energy efficiency, improved server utilization, TCO, and service continuity to companies seeking to meet the demands of Internet-Scale. Virident's GreenGateway technology transforms today's compute-centric servers into large memory data-centric industry standard servers. Virident makes green and growth possible in the internet data center. Founded in 2006 by notable Silicon Valley veterans from Sun, SGI, Google and Intel, Virident is headquartered in Milpitas, California. For more information visit

Cautionary Statement

This release contains forward-looking statements that are made pursuant to the safe harbor provisions of the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995, including statements regarding the unveiling of a new memory solution for servers designed to reduce energy consumption, provide better performance and total cost of ownership. Introduction of a new technology carries both technical and market acceptance risk. Investors are cautioned that the forward-looking statements in this release involve risks and uncertainties that could cause actual results to differ materially from the company's current expectations. The company urges investors to review in detail the risks and uncertainties in the company's Securities and Exchange Commission filings, including but not limited to the company's Annual Report on Form 10-K for the fiscal year ended December 30, 2007. The company assumes no obligation to update any forward-looking statements or information included in this press release.

Spansion(R), the Spansion logo, MirrorBit(R), MirrorBit(R) Eclipse(TM), ORNAND(TM), ORNAND2(TM), HD-SIM(TM), Spansion(R) EcoRAM(TM) and combinations thereof, are trademarks of Spansion LLC in the U.S. and other countries. Other names used are for informational purposes only and may be trademarks of their respective owners.