Micron, Nanya formalize DRAM memory JV

April 21, 2008 – Micron Technology and Taiwan’s Nanya Technology have formalized a recently announced partnership to create a new DRAM JV.

Under terms disclosed in a statement, MeiYa Technology will utilize Nanya’s 200mm facility in Taiwan, which will be upgraded to 300mm this year and ramp production sometime in 2009. Both companies will jointly develop and share future technology, each initially owning 50% of the JV, and each contributing $550M in cash by the end of 2009.

“This partnership brings greater scale and efficiency to the DRAM manufacturing operations of both parent companies,” said Mark Durcan, Micron’s president/COO, in a statement. Added Nanya president Jih Lien: “Nanya has a very high expectation for this new entity.”

The official formation of a Micron/Nanya JV raises questions about the future of Nanya’s existing memory JV with Qimonda, Inotera Memories. Last month when word leaked out about a possible Micron-Nanya tieup, Inotera issued a statement citing its five consecutive years of profitability (including during a tough 2007), as well as its process technology lineup ranging from 110nm to 70/75nm, and a transfer agreement for 58nm.

Back in March when the Micron/Nanya discussions were leaked, WaferNEWS asked iSuppli’s Nam Hyung Kim, director and chief analyst for memory ICs/storage systems, what he thought about it. He noted the deal makes sense for both parties — Nanya wants access to leading edge DRAM technology, and Micron wants to lower its cost structure.

He also said that a Micron-Nanya combination “is not a good news to Samsung and Hynix,” since it will hoist Micron’s market position back into a competitive place vs. the two market leaders (it recently slipped to No.5 overall). Nor is it good news for Qimonda, Nanya’s JV partner in Inotera Memories; it’s still unclear what will happen there, whether Qimonda will find a new partner or sell its Inotera shares to Nanya.


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