Tokyo 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.
David Patterson, known for his pioneering research that led to RAID, clusters and more, is part of a team at UC Berkeley that recently made its RISC-V processor architecture an open source hardware offering. We talk with Patterson and one of his colleagues behind the effort about the opportunities they see, what new kinds of designs they hope to enable and what it means for today’s commercial processor giants such as Intel, ARM and Imagination Technologies.