The Ministry of Economic Affairs (MOEA) said yesterday it would like Taiwan Memory Co (TMC, 台灣記憶體公司) to set an example in restructuring local dynamic random access memory (DRAM) companies, emphasizing there had been no collapse in TMC’s team-up with Japan’s top memory company Elpida Memory Inc.
“As soon as TMC is officially incorporated, money from private investors is in place, and rebuilding proposals have been submitted and approved, the MOEA will be ready to invest in the leading camp [TMC],” Industrial Development Bureau (IDB) Director General Woody Duh (杜紫軍) told a media briefing.
In April, TMC selected Elpida as its key technology partner. Last month, the Japanese government agreed to inject ¥100 billion (US$1 billion) into Elpida to ease the firm’s financial pressure.
As the Japanese chipmaker is no longer suffering from financial woes, Duh said it is on track to collaborate with TMC as its technology partner.
He also said TMC would hold a 9.5 percent share in Elpida, down from the previously proposed 10 percent.
“The rebuilding project of the local DRAM sector has formally begun,” Duh said.
On Tuesday, Vice Minister Hwang Jung-chiou (黃重球) said the government was ready to inject up to NT$30 billion in funds from the National Development Fund (國發基金) into one or two local DRAM company camps that embrace the MOEA’s four major guidelines for local DRAM companies to apply for government funds over the next three months.
“A camp can be one single company or a consortium of companies. But at least in the proposals, all the parties have to agree to the arrangement. One company cannot make the decision on behalf of its competitors,” Duh said yesterday.
So far, Formosa Plastics Group (台塑集團) has indicated strong interest in participating in the government DRAM rebuilding project through Nanya Technology Corp (南亞科技), the nation’s No.2 DRAM maker, and Inotera Memories Inc (華亞科技), he said.
But, Nanya Technology dismissed speculation that it would acquire another local memory chipmaker, Winbond Electronics Corp (華邦電), to meet government requirements for the capital injection, company spokesman Pai Pei-lin (白培霖) said.
The nation’s top DRAM supplier Powerchip Semiconductor Corp (力晶半導體), said that it was considering filing a proposal for government financial support. Powerchip submitted a merger and acquisition proposal to vie for government funds in the beginning of the year, but the proposal was rejected.
Powerchip was considering making some minor adjustments to the proposal and resubmitting it, company president Brian Hsieh (謝再居) told the Taipei Times.
The chipmaker originally proposed that Rexchip Electronics Corp (瑞晶), a joint venture between Powerchip and Elpida, would acquire smaller rivals to push for consolidation as the government desired.
Both TMC and Formosa Plastics have yet to submit their proposals to the ministry, Duh said.
ADDITIONAL REPORTING BY LISA WANG