Micron acquires part of Toshiba's DRAM business

Micron Technology made a second wave in the memory chip waters on Monday with an announcement that it has acquired part of Toshiba's memory business, after announcing another deal earlier in the day to take on the memory operations of South Korea's Hynix Semiconductor.

Micron has taken control of Toshiba's commodity DRAM (dynamic RAM) operations at Dominion Semiconductor, a subsidiary of Toshiba located in Virginia, the company said in a statement. Micron paid $US250 million and issued 1.5 million shares of its stock in order to complete the deal.

The move came on the same day that Micron, based in Idaho, and Hynix announced a preliminary agreement valued at close to $US3.4 billion that would give Micron control of Hynix's memory operations and also part of the company, including its customised chip design and manufacturing assets.

The deals mark a growing trend toward consolidation in the memory industry, particularly for DRAM, which is used as main memory inside personal computers, said one analyst.

Micron is looking for the DRAM facility to help it lower memory costs and open up a new option for building DRAM with a .13 micron manufacturing process, the company said in the statement. The company expects to transfer its .13 micron technology to the Dominion plant by year's end but would not provide further details on when manufacturing would begin.

Toshiba's DRAM facility was originally formed as a joint venture with IBM but became wholly owned by Toshiba in 2000.

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Ashlee Vance

PC World
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