Reports: Hynix eyeing ProMOS tech transfer, Samsung steamed

Mar. 10, 2008 – Hynix Semiconductor reportedly is in negotiations to send 54nm DRAM process technology to Taiwan’s ProMOS, a year after a similar deal for 66nm process technology raised eyebrows.

“We are in talks with Hynix on the next-generation technology and hope to complete the talks as soon as possible,” according to ProMOS VP Ben Tseng, quoted by regional newswires. ProMOS’ 90nm and 70nm technology also came from Hynix.

Last November reports surfaced that Hynix and ProMOS were getting ready to ramp production of 66nm DRAMs, with the Korea Times and Chosun Ilbo both suggesting the Korean firm may not have obtained proper export approvals for the deal.

Already, Samsung is said to be opposing the planned technology transfer, calling it a “technology leak” and “difficult to understand,” according to an exec quoted by the Korea Times. Hynix CEO Kim Jong-Kap reportedly responded noting that the chips will be made on commission as a partner, following three years of a healthy relationship.

The report also cited both Samsung and Hynix execs as pessimistic about any turnaround in DRAM and NAND chip prices in 1H08, citing a “glut” of both types of chips. Unit prices for 512Mb DRAM have evaporated (down ~80% Y-Y), while 8Gb NAND have fallen about 40%. “It is highly unlikely that the chip industry will see a major turnaround by the end of June. However, that could be possible in the second half,’ Kim said.


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