Taiwan memory designer Elite eyeing mobile phones

May 4, 2007 – Elite Semiconductor Memory Technology Inc. is eyeing new business providing memory chips for mobile homes, after being passed by Etron Technology Inc. as Taiwan’s top memory design house, according to the Taiwan Economic News.

Elite, whose product lines include SRAM and NOR flash chips, is integrating its NOR flash chips with Cypress Semiconductor Corp.’s pseudo-SRAM chips for handset memory, in a deal reportedly worth $15 million. However, the paper cited an Elite spokesperson saying he had no knowledge of that deal, though the company is eager to break into that market, hoping to chip away at the 90% share held by Spansion and SST who support cell-phone makers including Motorola, Nokia, and Sony-Ericsson.

The company also is looking to carve out a niche in NAND flash chips, and has contracted with Taiwan’s Powerchip Semiconductor Corp., the paper said.

Spurring the memory design house’s plans is a recent upgrade from 0.13-micron processes on 200mm wafers to 0.11-micron processes on 300mm wafers, which is saving production costs — after-tax profits in January 2007 soared 180% to ~$1.9 million, according to the paper.


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