Taiwan Memory may announce tech partner Wednesday

TAIPEI, March 31 Tue Mar 31, 2009 7:26am EDT

TAIPEI, March 31 (Reuters) - Taiwan Memory Co (TMC), a new computer memory chip company supported by the government, may unveil its technology partner on Wednesday, after about a month of talks with Japan's Elpida Memory 6665.T and U.S. rival Micron Technology MU.N.

In a statement on Tuesday, TMC said John Hsuan, who is overseeing the new company, will provide an update on Wednesday on the progress of the negotiations. A spokesman from TMC did not rule out announcing the new partner on Wednesday.

TMC has said it is likely to make a decision on its technology partner by the end of March at the earliest, while the economic ministry said there was no firm date yet.

Local media has said TMC is leaning towards using Elpida's technology. The government has said it would hold less than half of TMC.

Taiwan's Economics Minister Yiin Chii-ming said on Monday TMC needs to report to the cabinet before announcing its partner.

Hsuan has said Taiwan will inject up to T$30 billion ($882 million) into TMC, the company being set up to bring long-term viability to its struggling memory chip sector. [ID:nTP168041]

Taiwan's top DRAM players have all been losing money for most of the past year. The country's DRAM sector consists of mainly second-tier players in a global memory chip sector battling its worst ever downturn, due to oversupply made worse by the global economic crisis.

DRAM shares ended mixed in Taiwan after local media cited the the economics ministry as saying TMC will not announce its technology partner on Tuesday. (US$1 = T$34) (Reporting by Baker Li, Editing by Anshuman Daga)

FILED UNDER: