Report: Micron to take over SMIC fab
9/5/2010 5:42 PM EDT
SAN JOSE, Calif. - Micron Technology Inc. is in talks to take over the operations of Semiconductor Manufacturing International Corp.'s 300-mm fab in Wuhan, China, according to a report from the Commericial Times.
The fab, dubbed Wuhan Xinxin Semiconductor Manufacturing Corp., is owned by the Wuhan government. SMIC manages the fab.
Loss-ridden SMIC, which hopes to move into the black, is also looking to exit another fab arrangement. For some time, silicon foundry vendor SMIC has been in talks with Texas Instruments Inc. about taking over the operation of a separate 200-mm fab in Chengdu, China, according to sources.
As reported, SMIC (Shanghai) plans to end an agreement to manage the 200-mm wafer fab in Chengdu, according to reports. SMIC has been talking to TI about taking over the fab.
SMIC set up the 200-mm wafer fab, Cension, to be managed by SMIC and backed by investors and the Chengdu government. The Chengdu fab is losing money, prompting SMIC to seek other buyers of that plant.
Recently, SMIC revised the business model for its fab arrangements in Chengdu and Wuhan.Previously, the fabs in Chengdu and Wuhan had their own sales efforts. Now, SMIC will assume the direct sales responsibilities for those two fabs in China.
The move could pave the way for the eventual sale of those fabs. SMIC may want to focus its efforts within its own fabs in Beijing and Shanghai.
Meanwhile, Micron may want to expand its efforts in a China by buying the Wuhan fab. Earlier this year, Micron acquired Numonyx Holdings B.V. in a stock transaction valued at $1.27 billion. The deal propels Micron (Boise, Ida.) into the NOR and phase-change memory (PCM) sectors. Micron also expands its thrust into NAND flash.
Before that deal, Numonyx and Hynix Semiconductor Inc. had a joint fab venture in China. This gave Numonyx a direct presence in China. But Micron plans to sell to Hynix its minority stake in that joint venture.
Hynix (Seoul, South Korea) will pay an estimated $422.89 million for the 19.3 percent stake in the China-based joint venture, Hynix-Numonyx Semiconductor Ltd., Micron said.