LONDON -- A senior executive with Infineon Technologies AG said the chip maker is eager to maintain its logic IC portfolio but has made no decision on whether to jettison all or part of its memory business.
Dominik Asam was speaking at the Prudential-Bache European Technology Conference here Wednesday (May 26) where a lead question from session moderator was why Infineon did not split up and sell off its separate divisions, covering memory, secure wireless, wireline, and auomotive-industrial.
Asam said: "We believe there are benefits in keeping the logic parts together. We are not a big believer in the fab-lite model." He added that fabless companies are under price and supply pressure during the current upturn in business.
Conspicuous by its absence in Asam's comments was Infineon's memory division or DRAM business. The DRAM business has been rumoured to be the subject of a sell-off in recent weeks
However, Asam went on to say: "Even between logic and DRAM there is the advantage of flexibility."
"We have always looked into it [the spin-off of DRAM] so far we have not come to the conclusion we should act. I can only tell you there has been no decision as yet."
Strangely, although Infineon has a reputation for outsourcing its DRAM manufacturing through southeast Asian partners ASAM said the scheme was providing Infineon with less than 10 percent of its requirements. Asam said the Inotera joint venture with Nanya was not yet in production while Semiconductor Manufacturing International Corp. (SMIC) of Shanghai, China, and Winbond of Taipei, Taiwan, were between them producing mid single digit percentages of Infineon DRAMs. "It could go up above 10 percent by the end of the year. It depends on pricing environments.
Asam said that SMIC was in a position to grab a larger proportion of the outsourced DRAM manufacturing with its plans to bring up a 300-mm wafer fab.