June 10, 2008 – Robust demand expectations for Nintendo’s wildly popular Wii game console means more business for chip supplier Macronix, which will in turn have to seek more foundry help, namely ProMos Technologies, notes the Taiwan Economic News.
Macronix is the main supplier of the Wii’s XtraROM chips, running a combined 50k wafers/month out of its 200mm fab for the 75nm process-based devices as well as other 0.13μm NOR-type chips. Production of a 4Gb XtraROM device was to start in the current quarter.
But faced with high capacities as the peak demand season begins, the company is seeking help from contract manufacturers, the paper reports. Since 2Q07 Macronix has received 10k-15k wafers/month from Nanya Technology’s 200mm fab, but now the firm estimates it will need an additional 15k-20k wafers/month — so in while continuing to make its own 75nm XtraROM chips, Macronix is seeking 65nm foundry capacity from ProMos, the paper reports. (Macronix sold a 300mm fab to PowerChip as part of a fab-lite strategy.)
Macronix chairman Minn Wu noted that the company’s 2Q08 revenue should be roughly in line with expectations, with shipments increasing 15%-20% Q-Q, ASPs up 10%-15%, margins between 38%-42%, and utilization rates between 90%-95%.