Renesas, Powerchip launch memory design JV

January 16, 2007 – Renesas Technology Corp. and Taiwanese memory foundry Powerchip Semiconductor Corp. say they will establish a joint venture to design advanced memory devices and “overcome key issues they are currently facing,” according to a statement.

Shigeru Mori, GM of Renesas’ memory business unit, will be CEO of the new JV, located in Tokyo’s Minato Ward and majority-owned (65%) by Powerchip.

The partnership will help Powerchip expand its lineup of standard memory devices, and complement its foundry services, according to Stephen Chen, SVP and GM of the company’s memory products group, in a statement.

For Renesas, the JV will improve its ability to design advanced custom embedded memory, and in a larger scope help it bring high-performance, low-cost system-in-package technology more quickly to market, added Mori.

The two companies are longtime partners. In June 2006 they extended a technology license pact under which Renesas will manufacture and license 4Gbit AND-type flash memory in addition to 1Gbit products, and outsource more production to Powerchip. Meanwhile, Powerchip said it would double its monthly 300mm capacity to 10,000 wafers/month in part to handle the extra business.

Powerchip’s $166 million purchase of Macronix’s idle 300mm facility Fab 3 in January 2006 also was seen as a move to secure capacity for contract production of NAND flash memory chips for Renesas, and ease production shortages at its 200mm fab.


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