Sun, Jan 25, 2009 - Page 11 News List

Winbond claims bankrupt Qimonda owes US$28.1m

STOPPING SHIPMENTS The company said that it would announce further information regarding its potential losses after the Lunar New Year holidays

By Kevin Chen  /  STAFF REPORTER

Local computer memory chipmaker Winbond Electronics Corp (華邦電子) said yesterday it had about NT$950 million (US$28.1 million) in unpaid accounts receivable from bankrupt Qimonda AG.

The Hsinchu-based company said it would stop shipments to its German client and seeks ways to mitigate the damage after Qimonda filed for insolvency protection on Friday, a company statement said.

Winbond produces dynamic random access memory (DRAM) chips for Qimonda on a contract basis.

“As of today, the unpaid accounts receivable for DRAM wafers shipped to Qimonda are about NT$950 million. In regard to the 16,000 wafers shipped to Qimonda per month, Winbond will adopt a strategy of direct selling to deal with the contingency,” it said in the statement.

In October, Qimonda announced a global restructuring and cost reduction program to reposition itself in the global memory chip business. The company said at the time that it wanted to concentrate on its core strengths in so-called “buried wordline” technology, as well as infrastructure and graphics products.

In a statement issued on Nov. 26, Qimonda said it was converting from its 75 nanometer technology directly to its proprietary 65 nanometer buried wordline technology and planned to introduce a next generation 46 nanometer technology in the middle of this year.

In response to the possible technology problem that Qimonda’s insolvency filing has caused, Winbond reassured investors as to its competitiveness and said the 65 nanometer technology introduced from its German partner “has entered the mass production stage and will sufficiently meet demands of Winbond’s niche DRAM products over the next few years.”

Under Germany’s insolvency proceedings, bankrupt companies are granted a grace period for restructuring while creditors are given a period of protection. As a result, Winbond said it would maintain contact with Qimonda and keep track of related information in the coming weeks.

The company added that it would announce further information regarding its potential losses and other contingency plans after the Lunar New Year holidays.

Compared to Winbond’s NT$950 million losses, Inotera Memories Inc (華亞科技) said its unpaid accounts receivable for DRAM wafers shipped to Qimonda were about NT$3.4 billion, the firm said a statement issued late on Friday.

In addition, there were wafer inventories that were intended for future shipment to Qimonda, the Taoyuan-based company said.

Inotera didn’t specify how large the inventories were, but said it had decided to discontinue wafer starts and shipments to Qimonda.

The company would be working with its partners Nanya Technology Corp (南亞科技) and Micron Technology Inc for the disposition and sale of such wafers to other customers, it said.

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