| Elpida Memory and United Microelectronics Corporation (UMC) announced an agreement to jointly pursue semiconductor foundry opportunities in Japan. Under this agreement, Elpida will provide its 12-inch wafer manufacturing capacity while UMC will contribute the intellectual property (IP) support and logic technologies to serve Japan-based foundry customers.
"We believe that Elpida is an attractive outsourcing option for Japanese IC companies due to our close geographic proximity to them and the fact that Elpida does not compete in the same markets as our target foundry customers," said Yukio Sakamoto, president and CEO of Elpida. "Elpida will continue to focus on DRAM manufacturing for mobile devices and digital consumer electronics customers. Overall DRAM business is very volatile, though. We believe continuous growth of our business is made possible through stable profit performance. Adding foundry as another axis of our business is a solution. "
The alliance announced today extends the joint development program that the two companies announced in October 2007 for copper/low-k, DRAM, and phase-change random access memory (PRAM) technologies. Thus far, the collaboration is progressing well, which led the two companies to decide to seek out further possibilities for joint development, as well as for cooperation in manufacturing, UMC said.