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Report: Taiwan plans DRAM venture

Posted: 09 Mar 2009 ?? ?Print Version ?Bookmark and Share

Keywords:Taiwan DRAM venture? memory market? bailout program?

The Taiwan government has stepped in to bail out the island's loss-ridden DRAM sector.

As part of the proposed plan, Taiwan will consolidate all of its DRAM makers and form a new company, dubbed Taiwan Memory Co., according to Dow Jones.

The Taiwan government will own less than 50 percent of Taiwan Memory, the report said. The entity will form a partnership with either Elpida Memory Inc. or Micron Technology Inc. John Hsuan, a former vice chairman at United Microelectronics Corp., will lead the new company.

Will it work?
Taiwan Memory is still in the planning stages. Many wonder if the plan will work amid a major memory downturn. Some are doubtful. Even if Taiwan forms a new DRAM company, the chances of survival are slim.

The DRAM market is horrible. There are too many players in a poor market. In DRAMs, Taiwan is simply too small to compete against Korea, namely Samsung Electronics Co. Ltd. Even Samsung is struggling in a bad market.

In addition, it's unclear if Micron or Elpida will agree on the plan. Both have their own interests on the island and the stakes are high.

Micron is aligned with Taiwan DRAM maker Nanya Technology Corp. The two companies have a joint DRAM venture in Taiwan. Elpida is aligned with Taiwan's Powerchip Semiconductor Corp. The two companies have a joint DRAM venture in Taiwan.

Meanwhile, Hynix Semiconductor Inc. is aligned with ProMOS. Hynix owns a stake in ProMOS, a DRAM maker. Also, Qimonda AG is aligned with Winbond Electronics Corp., a Taiwan DRAM foundry.

For some time, Nanya, Powerchip, ProMOS and Winbond have lost huge sums of money, leaving some to wonder why Taiwan is in the DRAM business in the first place. Many think Taiwan should throw in the towel and look for new markets.

- Mark LaPedus
EE Times

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