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Analysis: Why did Micron buy Numonyx?

Analysis: Why did Micron buy Numonyx?
2/12/2010 01:00 AM EST
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mark.lapedus
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re: Analysis: Why did Micron buy Numonyx?
mark.lapedus   2/13/2010 5:16:47 PM
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Thanks NVM. Question: Will PCM thrive or die at Micron?

resistion
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re: Analysis: Why did Micron buy Numonyx?
resistion   2/13/2010 8:10:59 AM
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I agree. At the very least the sell off of Numonyx represents a vote of no confidence on PCM by Intel and STM. I think Micron is trying to be an American Samsung. But the difference is, Asian governments generously support their semiconductor companies.

Volatile Memory
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re: Analysis: Why did Micron buy Numonyx?
Volatile Memory   2/12/2010 8:17:19 PM
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Nice summary of the situation. Several points related to the phase-change memory angle, though: First, there is no evidence that Numonyx is on course to provide customers with samples of its 1-Gbit PCM in the first quarter of 2010. Numonyx promised last year to deliver prototypes in the second-half of 2009, and go into production by the end of 2009: www.eetimes.com/news/design/showArticle.jhtml?articleID=218100904&printable=true&printable=true But neither the prototypes nor the production ever materialized. Second, there is no race to bring PCM into the commercial markets. Numonyx claimed to have shipped their first PCM chip commercially in 2008: www.numonyx.com/en-US/About/PressRoom/Features/Pages/PCMships.aspx Yet, they had to admit recently that no commercial product on the market today uses their PCM chip. None. Not even one. Samsung apparently is not shipping any phase-change chips either (their mystery 512Mbit PRAM part K571228ACM is not even recognized as a valid product category on their web site). Third, Micron is not a stranger to PCM. In September of 1994, ECD (which invented phase-change memory in the late 1960s) granted Micron an exclusive, royalty-bearing license to the patents applicable to phase-change memory (Micron was supposed to pay $1.5 million per year to ECD prior to commercial production, and approximately 3% production royalties thereafter). Micron was allegedly looking for EEPROM/Flash and DRAM replacement, at lower cost, and was targeting 64-256Mbit chips at 350nm. The results were predictable. Like all results related to PCM since late 1960s. Note that this license agreement was signed about 6 years before Numonyx (then, Intel) got their license from ECD's JV. In 2004, Micron, 10 years after signing that "exclusive" license, declared that PCM does not scale: www.eetimes.com/news/semi/showArticle.jhtml?articleID=51201178 And that's the end of the story as far as PCM is concerned. May it now rest in peace, forever!

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