Fri, Aug 14, 2009 - Page 12 News List

Chipmaker Spansion suspends its MOU with ASE


US memory chipmaker Spansion Inc has suspended its memorandum of understanding (MOU) with Taiwanese chip packager Advanced Semiconductor Engineering Inc (ASE, 日月光半導體) as part of restructuring efforts to emerge from bankruptcy protection.

The restructuring will focus on reducing costs, strengthening efficiency and improving asset management, an executive of the Sunnyvale, California-based memory chipmaker said yesterday.

“We signed the MOU last year. It did not go anywhere since we filed for Chapter 11 protection” in March, John Nation, director of Spansion’s corporate marketing, told a press briefing in Taipei.

Spansion is the world’s biggest maker of NOR memory chips, commanding 40 percent of the world’s market share. It announced late last month that it planned to emerge from bankruptcy protection by the end of the fourth quarter of this year.

The two firms had originally planned to form a chip testing and packaging venture.

Nation said the company wanted to achieve greater flexibility in its manufacturing strategy by subcontracting part of capacities to other companies.

For example, to help downsize its wireless memory chip business, Spansion is collaborating with China’s largest chipmaker, Semiconductor Manufacturing International Corp (SMIC, 中芯), in making flash memory chips for wireless devices on 65-nanometer technology, he said.

Spansion would maintain its partnership with contract chipmakers, including Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Co (台積電) and SMIC, Nation said.

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