Saturday, March 14, 2009

The DRAM Debacle Part II: Whither Taiwan Memory?

Taiwan's government has backed away from one possible blueprint for the government-sponsored memory chip firm, Taiwan Memory, announced last week to consolidate the DRAM sector into Taiwan Memory. Taiwan DRAM firms have been expressing a distinct lack of enthusiasm for the prospect of joining Taiwan Memory (link here), and Minister of Economic Affairs Chii-Ming Yiin announced on Thursday that the tentative plan now is to rent fab capacity from the separate DRAM firms for Taiwan Memory. Are the memory firms in Taiwan holding out for a better deal from the government? Probably so as these firms cannot survive the downturn on their own. What further complicates any merger are the separate deals these local firms have with larger foreign partners, principally Elpida and Micron. Last week the government suggested that Taiwan Memory would choose one or the other of these foreign firms as its technology partner so both firms have incentives to keep their current partnerships rather than losing them in consolidation.

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