Taiwan's Powerchip and Japan's Elpida sign chip deal

Taiwan's Powerchip Semiconductor and Japan's Elpida Memory have announced a $1.23 billion joint venture with plans to invest almost $14 billion over five years, an AFP report said.

The AFP report said the joint venture aims to build the world's largest memory chip facilities in the Central Taiwan Science Park after acquiring Powerchip's new 12-inch wafer plant still under construction.

'In total, we two are ready to invest a combined $450 billion or $13.6 billion, over the next four to five years in building four (12-inch-wafer) plants in central Taiwan,' Powerchip chairman Frank Huang was quoted by AFP as saying.

The Powerchip-Elpida project will start output of using 70-nanometer technology and will work toward moving to the more advanced 50-nanometer phase and beyond, Huang was further quoted by AFP as saying.

The project will build four fabrication plants, each with a monthly capacity of 60,000 12-inch wafers or a total of 240,000 wafers per month, he said.

A memorandum of understanding was signed here by Huang and Yukio Sakamoto, president and chief executive of Elpida.

By joining forces, the two companies said they aimed to capture the number one position in DRAM chips, which are used in digital appliances such as personal computers and mobile phones, the AFP report further said