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Micron ready to evaluate Infineon purchase

Posted: 08 Mar 2006 ?? ?Print Version ?Bookmark and Share

Keywords:Peter Clarke? Micron? Infineon?

Steve Appleton, chairman, president and chief executive officer of Micron Technology Inc., said he would be prepared to look at Infineon's memory business and see if it made sense for Micron to purchase part or all of it.

In an interview with EE Times, Appleton said that Infineon has not approached Micron concerning the announcement of the company's plans to separate its memory business from its logic business and then float the memory business off by way of an offering of shares.

"Nobody has approached us and said, "Do you want to buy?" Infineon has said they will separate out their memory business. Whether they go for an IPO, a sale or a merger remains to be seen. If an opportunity exists, we'll take a look at it. But I don't know what's there today," Appleton told EE Times.

With Infineon effectively saying it wants to exit the expensive-to-fund DRAM business in favor of logic chips which can be made in foundries, it would make sense for one of the remaining top DRAM makers to pick up Infineon's capacity and customer base. The leaders include Samsung Electronics Co. Ltd., Hynix Semiconductor Inc., Micron and Elpida Memory Inc. However, cultural differences could make deals with Korea's Samsung or Hynix, or Japan's Elpida. Taiwan's Nanya and Inotera are partners with Infineon and could be eager to acquire some part of Infineon's DRAM operation or technology.

Any deal with Micron would be unlikely to be impacted by the fact that Micron recently sold its NAND flash memory interests and products to Intel for $270 million and has formed a manufacturing joint venture company with Intel for NAND flash called IM Flash Technologies LLC.

Although Infineon does have some flash interests the majority of the company's memory business is DRAM based around wafer manufacturing plant in Dresden, Germany. Infineon also licenses out DRAM manufacturing to partners in Asia.

- Peter Clarke
EE Times

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