SAN JOSE, Calif. -- There appears to be a potential bidding war for Taiwan DRAM maker ProMOS Technology Corp.
The latest in a series of rumors: Silicon foundry giant Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Co. Ltd. (TSMC) is mulling plans to buy ProMOS, according to sources. In the plan, TSMC would buy ProMOS' fabs and would shed the company's memory business, sources said.
A spokesman for TSMC declined to comment. ''It is TSMC's policy not to comment on rumors and speculation,'' the spokesman said.
There are other rumors about ProMOS. And time will tell what will happen to the memory maker.
According to DigiTimes, the Micron-Nanya duo are also looking at ProMOS. And Powerchip Semiconductor Corp. is also looking to buy ProMOS, according to the publication.
And last but not least, according to one report from Bloomberg, Japanese DRAM maker Elpida Memory Inc. appears to be involved in talks to buy Taiwan's Powerchip and ProMOS.
ProMOS, as well as Powerchip, are also seeking bailouts from the Taiwan government.
The government in Taiwan--and possibly Korea--may seek to bail-out the failing DRAM makers in those nations, but an analyst warned that such an action would be a ''disaster'' for the industry as a whole. It would just prolong the downturn, an analysts said.
Like most DRAM makers, ProMOS is losing huge sums of money. For Q3, the company lost NT$22.5 billion ($679 million) on sales of NT$26.5 billion ($800.8 million). It has posted five consecutive quarter losses.
In October, ProMOS migrated all foundry products as well as its own proprietary legacy products from its 8-inch wafer fab (Fab 1) to a 12-inch wafer fab (Fab 2). It shut down the 8-inch wafer fab. This move together with other production capacity adjustments will reduce DRAM output by 10-to-15 percent in the fourth quarter.