May 8, 2003 – Taipei, Taiwan – ProMOS Technologies Inc. has signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) for a technology transfer with Japan’s chipmaker Elpida Memory Inc.
Under the agreement, the two chipmakers will jointly develop a next-generation technology for making DRAM chips using 0.10-micron manufacturing process and below, reported the Financial Times.
“This is a long-term relationship,” said Chen Ming-liang, president of ProMOS, adding that the technology deal could last until the end of 2004. The Japanese firm may take an equity stake in ProMOS, while ProMOS will supply Elpida with some of its output of DRAM chips, Chen said.
A Japanese newspaper reported that Elpida expects ProMOS to supply 10,000 to 15,000 200mm wafers/month. “ProMOS and Elpida will benefit from cost-efficient manufacturing capability and production sharing,” Chen said.
Elpida, a joint venture between NEC Corp. and Hitachi Ltd., uses a kind of DRAM manufacturing technology known as stack, which is different from the type ProMOS currently deploys. Chen said that Elpida would begin by transferring its 0.10-micron, stack process technology to ProMOS, which will be followed by joint development of more advanced technology.
In addition, Chen said ProMOS has also discussed the possibility of building a new 300mm wafer plant in cooperation with Elpida. The new plant will be based on stack technology. However, Chen said that no decision on the issue has been reached. Chen said the new tie-up with Elpida should not cause further disputes between Infineon Technologies and ProMOS, which are now at odds over a technology licensing agreement.