Infineon Technologies has taken a 20% stake in ferroelectric memory specialist Ramtron International. Spending $10m in cash with a further $20m in stock, the move follows an investment earlier in the year in Ramtron subsidiary Enhanced Memory Systems, which specialises in DRAM design.
In a cross-licence deal, Infineon has gained access to the Ramtron FRAM memory technology. In return, Ramtron gains access to manufacturing technology for FRAMs developed by Infineon.
Harald Eggers, senior vice president and general manager of Infineon's Memory Products Division said: "FRAM memory technology has matured significantly over the last 12 months, and we feel it holds particular promise in the future of the semiconductor market."
Under the terms of the investment agreement, Ramtron will issue $30 million of Ramtron stock, or approximately 4430000 shares, in two stages. The first will be for the $10m cash payment and the second for $20m of Infineon stock, or about 443480 Infineon shares.
Through its manufacturing arrangement with Fujitsu, Ramtron expects to unveil an FRAM-based design that breaks the 1Mbit barrier in February 2001 at the International Solid-State Circuits Conference. The company has designed a redundancy scheme, using ferroelectric cells to reprogram the array configuration, to improve yields.