April 1, 2003 – Tokyo, Japan, and Sunnyvale, CA – Fujitsu Ltd. is set to merge its flash memory operations with those of Advanced Micro Devices Inc. (AMD) through a joint venture, reported the Nihon Keizai Shimbun.
The move, which marks the first merger of operations between a Japanese and American chipmaker, is aimed at surviving in the growing flash memory market by becoming the world’s second-largest firm in the field after Intel Corp.
Fujitsu and AMD will by September transfer their flash memory operations to the new joint venture, to be based in California. Sales are targeted at around $1.5 billion with a staff of some 5,000.
The new company, which will focus solely on flash memory devices, will be capitalized at over $1 billion, with AMD taking a 60% stake and Fujitsu controlling the rest. AMD will take the lead in managing the venture by dispatching one of its own to serve as CEO, but Fujitsu will send at least one major executive as well.
The partners already jointly operate Fujitsu AMD Semiconductor Ltd. in Japan, which was founded in 1993 to process silicon wafers used for flash memory chips, and have decided to expand their alliance.
The firms will transfer all stages of flash memory operations, from new product development to marketing. Responsibility for sales will be left with the Fujitsu and AMD, but they will unify product brands. Fujitsu AMD Semiconductor will become a subsidiary of the new firm.