Winbond sells chip plant to Asia Pacific MEMS

Dec. 20, 2001 – Taipei, Taiwan – Winbond Electronics Corp. is set to sell its five-inch wafer production lines to Asia Pacific MEMS System Corp. for NT$500 million (US$14.70 million).

The deal is part of a company wide restructuring planned by Winbond in late October to reduce losses on its less competitive operations. Winbond has one five-inch wafer fab, one six-inch wafer fab, and two eight-inch wafer fabs. The company is using the five-inch and six-inch fabs to make logic chips and its eight-inch fabs to produce DRAM and non-volatile memory chips.

Other cost cutting measures include employee cutbacks and a switch to niche memory chips, according to the Financial Times.

Winbond has diversified into the flash memory market. The move also helps Winbond to minimize the risks associated with an over-concentration of products. Winbond has signed an agreement with Sharp Corp. to develop 0.13-micron and 0.18-micron advanced contactless process technologies for flash memory chips. The company’s first NOR-type flash memory will be made with 0.13-micron process technology in 128Mb or 256Mb chips.

Volume production of the chip is scheduled to begin in 2004.


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