EE Times: Speaking of scale, how is the merger with Elpida going?
Adams: It's way too early to say how it's going.
The good news is one of benefits of the long bankruptcy process in Japan is we got time to know these folks better. They have very strong development and manufacturing teams, they have good core technology around DRAM, packaging capabilities in the mobile sector and their two fabs are pretty strong.
The data we have suggests [when the merger is complete] we will surpass Hynix as a memory chip maker and trail only Samsung. We will have 90 percent more capacity in 18 months, in part due to the merger with Elpida. If you take out Samsung's internal consumption, Micron will be the largest provider to everyone but Samsung, and the fact we don't compete with customers is a nice engagement model.
EE Times: Given the current conservative environment, have you drawn up any plans for rationalizing the merged company?
Adams: We don't have any plans for rationalization on the Elpida side. We have a commitment to employ the Elpida team. They have two fabs that generate most of their headcount, and they have a strong mobile team.
EE Times: Last week's Flash Memory Summit reflected what's still a frothy market for NAND. Has the growth peaked?
Adams: It's starting to slow down and mature. Some of the early- and late-stage startups are being acquired. There's a lot of M&A in this space. I see consolidation in end systems as well as in the components -- whether it's controllers or software.
EE Times: Web giants such as Facebook and Microsoft have been calling for lower cost flash with relaxed specs for uses such as cold storage. Do they have a clear spec, and will you deliver products for it?
Adams: I wouldn’t say they have one defined spec. We are engaged with the datacenter folks, and we're looking at these apps. But we haven’t announced anything.
Our view is we are working on a one-to-one customer model. We are not looking for a broad industry spec we can commoditize.
Slideshow: Flash Innovators Flood Show
Micron Closes Elpida Acquisition
DRAM Prices to Rise 40% in 2013