Sat, Mar 14, 2009 - Page 12 News List

Elpida only interested in technological partnership

By Lisa Wang  /  STAFF REPORTER

Japan’s Elpida Memory Inc said yesterday it was interested in a technological partnership with the government-led Taiwan Memory Co (TMC, 台灣記憶體公司), but not in merging with any Taiwanese chipmaker, dashing local chipmakers’ hopes that an industry consolidation could help them through the current downturn.

Elpida, Japan’s top memory chipmaker, said in an e-mail to the Taipei Times that it was not engaged in talks on “anything related to consolidation” in response to a question about possible tie-ups with local dynamic random access memory (DRAM) chipmakers.

“I am just saying that I want to be a technological partner with TMC, which means that all of the Taiwanese companies [working with TMC] will be using Elpida’s technologies,” Elpida chief executive Yukio Sakamoto said in the e-mail.

Taiwan and Japan should jointly create a strong DRAM company to compete with rivals outside Taiwan, he said.

On Wednesday, Powerchip Semiconductor Corp (力晶半導體), Taiwan’s top DRAM maker, said it planned to resume discussions about a DRAM consolidation plan with its longtime partner, Elpida, next week based on a previous proposal.

Powerchip’s statement came in the wake of TMC’s comment on Tuesday that it had no plans to consolidate or bail out any Taiwanese firms, dashing local DRAM makers’ hopes of securing immediate government aid in the face of pressing financial problems.

Powerchip makes DRAM chips using Elpida’s technology and operates a joint-venture, Rexchip Electronics Inc (瑞晶電子), with the Tokyo-based company in Taichung, Taiwan. Its shares jumped 5.06 percent to NT$3.32 yesterday.

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