The long-awaited consolidation in the foundry business could turn into a reality: Rumors are running rampant about a pair of separate mergers in the silicon foundry business in Korea and Malaysia.
One rumor involves the possible merger between the foundry businesses of Korea's Hynix Semiconductor Inc. and DongbuAnam Semiconductor Co. Ltd., according to sources.
The other rumor involves a merger between two foundry providers in Malaysia--1st Silicon (Malaysia) Sdn. Bhd and Silterra Malaysia Sdn. Bhd., sources said. In recent times, Silterra has approached 1st Silicon about a merger, which would create one strong foundry provider in Malaysia. But 1st Silicon has rebuffed the offer and wants to go it alone, according to sources in the industry. Time will tell if Silterra and 1st Silicon will remain separate and independent companies.
Meanwhile, for some time, there have been rumors that Hynix and DongbuAnam have been in talks to merge their separate foundry businesses into one company, according to sources. The Korean government is pushing hard for the deal and Hynix would love to unload its foundry unit in order to focus on its DRAM business.
The problem is that Hynix wants to sell its foundry fabs and associated debt to DongbuAnam. Pure-play foundry specialist DongbuAnam wants the fabs, but not the debt, according to sources.
If the deal were to take place, the combined company would consist of three former foundry providers. DongbuAnam itself was recently formed after Dongbu Electronics Co. Ltd. assumed control of another Korean foundry--Anam Semiconductor Inc.