US memorychip maker Micron Technology Inc plans to spend another US$1 billion this year to complete the upgrading of a DRAM factory in Taichung, a company executive said yesterday.
The company last year spent US$1 billion on new equipment for the factory, aiming to migrate its 25-nanometer process technology to 1x-nanometer, factory site director K.C. Hsu (徐國晉) said.
“We have started using 1x-nanometer technology in DRAM chips in the fab. We are ramping up production at the fab and plan to complete the migration within a year,” Hsu said.
The company expects to ship its first DRAM chips made using 1x-nanometer technology in the second half of this year, said Hsu, who joined Micron last year after serving as the president of Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Co’s (台積電) US subsidiary, WaferTech LLC, for about 15 years.
Via shrinking circuit geometry to the 1x-nanometer node, Micron will be able to increase output and improve manufacturing costs at the plant, Hsu said.
In addition, the company aims to further develop its DRAM business in Taiwan and go beyond manufacturing, he said.
Taiwan contributes more than 60 percent to Micron’s global DRAM supply on a bit basis, the firm said.
Hsu said Micron plans to build an advanced DRAM chip packaging factory in Taiwan in a bid to bolster the company’s DRAM supply chain.
To expedite this expansion, the firm plans to hire 1,000 people in Taiwan this year, he said. The headcount increase accelerates a multi-year plan outlined just in December last year by CEO Mark Durcan in Taoyuan.
This year, Micron will also focus on integrating Inotera Memories Inc (華亞科技) with Micron, Hsu said.
Micron completed the acquisition of a 67 percent stake of Inotera for NT$130 billion (US$4.19 billion) in December, making it a fully-owned subsidiary.
Inotera’s factory makes DRAM chips mainly using 20-nanometer technology and has no plans for further technology upgrade to the 1x-nanometer technology, factory site director Lin Kiat Yap (葉仁傑) said.