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Elpida enters Japan fab market with UMC

Posted: 19 Mar 2008 ?? ?Print Version ?Bookmark and Share

Keywords:Japan foundry service? DRAM? 300mm fab?

Elpida Memory Inc. and United Microelectronics Corp. have partnered to pursue semiconductor foundry opportunities in Japan.

Under the agreement, Elpida will provide its 300mm wafer manufacturing capacity while UMC will contribute the IP support and logic technologies. The joint effort, targeting Japanese foundry customers, will commence at Elpida's 300mm fab in Hiroshima using advanced technologies and applications, including SoC. The cooperation provides proximity and ease of support for Japan-based foundry customers.

The alliance announced extends the joint development program that the two companies announced in October 2007 for copper/low-k, DRAM, and phase-change random access memory technologies.

This new alliance is designed to meet the expanding needs of Japanese semiconductor customers. Following the global trend, more and more Japanese IDM's are adopting fab-lite strategies, terminating in-house process technology development and curtailing or eliminating capital intensive manufacturing activities. The collaboration will address both technology and manufacturing capacity needs for Japanese system customers. Their joint activities will aid both Elpida and UMC, as each brings their own different technological background, and each gains from the relative strengths of the other.

"Elpida will continue to focus on DRAM manufacturing for mobile devices and digital consumer electronics customers. Overall DRAM business is very volatile, though," said Yukio Sakamoto, president and CEO of Elpida. "We believe continuous growth of our business is made possible through stable profit performance. Adding foundry as another axis of our business is a solution."

Jackson Hu, chairman and CEO of UMC, said, "Since last October when we announced our first joint collaboration plans with Elpida, our successful progress and mutual understanding have prompted us to extend the scope of our partnership. Utilizing UMC's advanced Copper/Low-k backend of line (BEOL) process, Elpida has been able to demonstrate prototypes that achieve significant performance advantages for its next generation DRAM products."

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