Wed, Jun 21, 2017 - Page 12 News List

Powerchip to re-enter NOR flash memorychip market

By Lisa Wang  /  Staff reporter

Powerchip Technology Corp (力晶科技), which primarily makes driver ICs used in flat panels, said it plans to resume production of NOR flash memory chips in Taiwan to take advantage of a supply crunch.

Such a move would make Powerchip the third local company supplying NOR flash memory chips after Macronix International Co (旺宏電子) and Winbond Electronics Corp (華邦電).

Powerchip’s announcement was unexpected, as the chipmaker had long suspended production of NOR flash memory chips due to a limited market scope and capacity.

The former DRAM powerhouse has transformed itself into a supplier of driver ICs, image sensors and power management chips after the DRAM industry flopped because of a severe oversupply in 2010.

“The supply of NOR flash memory chips has become tight, because major global suppliers are withdrawing from the market,” Powerchip Group (力晶集團) chairman Frank Huang (黃崇仁) said in a statement released on Monday.

“Powerchip has decided to re-enter the market, as more customers have requested that we make NOR flash chips for them,” Huang said.

Powerchip has signed initial engagements with customers to supply NOR flash memory chips, Huang added.

The company plans to start production of NOR flash memory chips at a local factory in the second half of this year after a new 12-inch factory in Hefei, China — a joint investment by Powerchip and the Anhui Provincial Government — begins mass production of driver ICs, the statement said.

Powerchip did not provide details about its NOR flash memory chip capacity or manufacturing plan.

The firm is to leverage its experience producing NOR and NAND flash memory chips to rapidly ramp up production, Huang said.

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