AMD, Fujitsu unveil their flash memory company

Advanced Micro Devices (AMD) and Fujitsu Ltd. took the wraps off their flash memory joint venture, which will sell flash memory chips under the Spansion brand, the companies said on Monday.

FASL LLC is the name of the new joint venture, which builds upon a previous joint venture between the two companies known as Fujitsu AMD Semiconductor Ltd. The companies announced the new joint venture in March, hoping that by combining their assets and sales forces, they could capture more market share together than either company could individually.

AMD owns 60 percent of the US$3 billion joint venture, and Bertrand Cambou, formerly senior vice president of AMD's memory group, will be president and chief executive officer of FASL. Fujitsu Corporate Senior Vice President Toshihiko Ono will be chairman of the board of the new joint venture. The company will be headquartered in Sunnyvale, California, which is also the base of operations for AMD.

In the second quarter, AMD expects to pick up a few points of flash memory market share at the expense of rival Intel Corp., the market leader, AMD said during its first-quarter earnings conference call in April. Betting on a surge in demand for cell phones and personal digital assistants, Intel raised prices on its flash memory chips in the first quarter. That move caused some customers to look elsewhere, Intel executives said earlier this year.

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