NEW YORK Feb 10 Japanese chipmaker Elpida
Memory Inc 6665.T has agreed to integrate its operations with
three Taiwan chipmakers in an attempt to survive severe slumps
in demand and prices, the Nikkei business daily reported.
Elpida, the world's No. 3 DRAM maker, will tie up with
Powerchip Semiconductor Corp 5346.TWO, ProMOS Technologies
Inc 5387.TWO and Rexchip Electronics Corp, the Nikkei said.
The integrated entity would be the world's second-largest
DRAM maker after South Korea's Samsung Electronics Co
(005930.KS). It also would be the first integration of a
Japanese chipmaker with foreign firms, the Nikkei said.
The deal would likely allow Elpida to tap the financial
assistance Taiwan is considering for its ailing semiconductor
industry, the report said, without citing sources.
Elpida may also apply for help from an industry rescue plan
being considered by the Japanese government, it said.
Elpida President Yukio Sakamoto is expected to sign a basic
agreement with the Taiwan chipmakers and the Taiwan government
on Wednesday, the Nikkei said on its website.
Elpida and Powerchip already have a tie-up agreement, which
operates under the Rexchip name.
While details have yet to be worked out, the integration
will likely be achieved by setting up a holding company that
would control Elpida and Rexchip, the Nikkei said.
Powerchip and ProMOS, Taiwan's No. 3 DRAM maker, would
probably come under the umbrella of Rexchip, it said.
The companies aim to finalize details and make an official
announcement by the end of this month, with the goal of
integrating operations by March 31, 2010, the Nikkei said.
(Reporting by Ted Kerr; Editing by Brian Moss)