Hitachi Ltd. today said that it will assume management control of the joint-venture DRAM fab in Singapore, Hitachi Nippon Steel Semiconductor Singapore Pte. Ltd., as one of its partners, Nippon Steel Corp., has decided to convert its 35% equity interest to nonvoting stock.While Nippon Steel, which last year sold its own DRAM fab in Japan to United Microelectronics Corp. of Taiwan, will retain its nonvoting stock, its directors will leave the joint venture's board of directors. Hitachi will appoint four directors, and one director will be selected by the Singapore Economic Development Board, which is the fab's other partner.
A Hitachi spokesman said it was necessary to change the joint venture's management structure in order to become more responsive to the fast-changing DRAM market. Hitachi continues to view the Singapore fab as a key site for the production of advanced DRAMs, and expects it to be the sole producer of next-generation 256-Mbit DRAM. The fab can process 20,000 8-in. wafers a month.