Powerchip and Elpida extend technology licensing t
 posted: Tuesday, August 26, 2003

Powerchip Semiconductor Corporation (PSC) will extend its technology licensing from Elpida Memory in an arrangement that would both increase its business from the Japanese partner and lower its own costs.

PSC, one of the island’s largest DRAM manufacturers, said that it has signed an agreement for Elpida’s 0.11-, 0.10- and 0.09-micron process technologies. PSC is buying the technologies with hopes that Tokyo-based Elpida will increase its use of PSC’s capacity. “PSC has full confidence to receive complementary benefits from each other in various aspects such as technology, business and capacity, and gain more competitive advantages for both companies in the industry,” PSC chairman Frank Huang said in a press statement.

Taiwanese DRAM makers, which are smaller than Samsung Electronics, Micron Technology, Infineon Technologies and Elpida, usually transfer advanced technologies from these foreign competitors or co-develop technologies with them. By doing so, the Taiwanese companies can gain businesses from the foreign players, who outsource their production to Taiwan to slash costs, according to analysts.

“A migration to the next-generation technology helps Taiwan companies reduce costs by about 30%, boosting their competitiveness,” said Rick Hsu, a senior analyst at Nomura Securities in Taipei.

Currently, PSC is using 0.13-micron technology for volume production at its 12-inch wafer facility, whose output stands at 15,000 wafers per month. The company plans to implement Elpida’s 0.10- and 0.09-micron process, with initial production scheduled for April 2004 and mass production in October of the same year, the statement said. The 0.09-micron process is slated to begin in early 2005, it said.

Elpida has transferred technology to PSC and is using its capacity. Elpida is also co-developing processes with ProMOS Technologies of Taiwan.