Thu, May 02, 2002 - Page 17 News List

Nanya, Infineon to announce deal

PARTNERSHIP In a US$10 billion deal, the two DRAM makers will together build two 12-inch wafer plants


Nanya Technology Corp (南亞科技) will form a chip project with Infineon Technologies AG, the world's fourth-largest memory-chip maker, and will announce details to the press today, Nanya Vice President Charles Kau (高啟全) said.

Kau's comment was in response to a Chinese-language newspaper report that said Nanya, the nation's biggest memory-chip maker by market value backed by Nan Ya Plastic Corp (南亞塑膠), and Germany's Infineon plan to build two 12 inch-wafer plants for making DRAM chips in Taiwan for US$10 billion. Financial details in the report are inaccurate, Kau said, without providing more information.

Later yesterday, Nanya sent out a media invitation for a joint news conference with Infineon today but did not give details.

Infineon needs alliances with companies such as Nanya to share the costs of expansion and development of new technology to compete with larger rivals Samsung Electronics Co and Micron Technology Inc, analysts said. Infineon has previously said it expected to sign a preliminary agreement with Nanya this month.

Nanya and Infineon plan to start construction of the first plant next year, the report said. Infineon's share of the memory-chip market will almost double to 20 percent after the plants are completed, it added.

Nanya is also seeking partners for technology development. The company currently uses chip-making technology from International Business Machines Corp.

Infineon has a venture with Taiwan memory-chip maker Mosel Vitelic Inc (台灣茂矽) called ProMOS Technologies Inc (茂德科技). Infineon and ProMOS have built some of the first 12-inch silicon wafer plants.

The dinner-plate-sized wafers will help cut production costs by a third because they more than double the number of chips that can be made from smaller eight-inch disks that are the standard size for the industry.

Infineon may buy a stake in Nanya by purchasing some of the shares, analysts said earlier.

Infineon said it's been in negotiations with Winbond Electronics Corp (華邦電子), another memory-chip maker. Infineon, Nanya and Winbond use the same type of production technology and said they are interested in cooperation on future development.

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