SAN JOSE, Calif. - Taiwan DRAM maker Nanya Technology Corp. and its joint venture, Inotera Memories Inc., continue to spill red ink.
Taiwan's Inotera is a joint DRAM venture between Nanya and Micron Technology Inc. Inotera has its own 300-mm DRAM fab. Nanya has its own and separate 300-mm fabs. Nanya sells DRAMs under its own brand name.
Both Inotera and Nanya obtained their stack DRAM technology from Micron. The Taiwan entities are ramping up 42-nm DRAM products, with a 3x-nm offering in the works.
Both Taiwan DRAM makers are struggling. Nanya said quarterly sales were NT$10.732 billion ($371.7 million), a decrease of 9 percent compared to the fourth quarter of 2010 and down 24 percent from a year ago. The company posted a net loss of NT$9.032 billion ($312.8 million) in the first quarter, compared to a loss of NT$10.153 billion ($351.6 million) in the previous quarter and a loss of NT$1.625 billion ($56.3 million) a year ago.
Nanya has also entered the mobile RAM market. The company shipped its 8-Gbit LPDDR2 devices using four 2-Gbit chips in a quad die package (QDP)-reportedly based on designs from Micron.
Currently, the 50-nm mobile RAM has earned qualifications from its clients and the company has scheduled to launch 42-nm and 3X-nm process technology mobile devices in the next two years.
On the desktop side, Nanya's 3X-nm stack technology is scheduled to start pilot runs in the middle of 2011, mainly for 4-Gbit DDR3 memory products. DDR4 memory products will also use 3X-nm and the schedule will follow the JEDC standard to launch the first engineering samples in the first quarter of 2012.
Nanya's 42-nm 2-Gbit device passed Intel's validation phase and volume production started this quarter. The board of Nanya approved a proposal to the general shareholders’ meeting to issue up to 700 million new common shares. The fund is planned for the new equipment purchasing, loan repayment, and the increase of working capital.
Inotera had sales revenue of NT$8.715 billion ($301.8 million) for the quarter, down 13 percent from the previous quarter and down 32 percent from a year ago. It posted a loss of NT$4.602 billion ($159.4 million), compared a loss of NT$2.621 billion ($90.8 million) in the previous quarter.
The company blamed the losses on falling average selling prices for DRAM.
Inotera has completed its conversion to 50-nm technology and reached its capacity of 130,000 wafer starts per month in December 2010. With pilot runs in 42-nm technology progressing, the company plans to commence the 42-nm volume ramp in the first quarter of 2011.
Furthermore, pilot runs of a 4Gb DDR3 product in next-generation 3x-nm technology are scheduled to start around mid-2011.
In 2011, Inotera is targeting to diversify into high-end DRAM products. The company expects to ship a significant share of its products into the server market and to tap into the mobile DRAM market with 50-nm 2Gb DDR low-power DRAM from the second quarter of 2011.