Elpida seeks Taiwan DRAM maker for Chinese fab

Elpida Memory is set to team up with a Taiwanese DRAM maker and establish a new factory in mainland China, reports Taiwan Economic News.

Elpida’s CEO, Yukio Sakamoto, confirmed the news today, suggesting that the new factory may open as early as 2012. He also said that the new outfit will ask for aid from the Chinese government.

While Elpida has not yet confirmed which DRAM maker it will choose for this project, two forerunners have been mentioned: ProMOS Technologies and PowerChip Semiconductor Corporation (PSC). Both of these companies have been keeping quiet about the deal, with ProMOS saying it is open-minded but could not comment and PSC revealing that it has not been approached by Elpida.

This will be the first time a Taiwanese chipmaker has teamed up with a foreign company to tackle an overseas market, which many industry analysts believe is a result of rising investment costs making it impossible for chipmakers to go at it alone.

Some sources close to the company have revealed more information about Elpida’s plans. It is likely that Elpida will open a 200-mm wafer fab as part of its initial plan and will probably pick ProMOS as its partner, given the latter already has a 200-mm fab in mainland China. PSC has obtained planning permission for a similar fab, however, keeping it a potential ally for Elpida as it tries to tackle the Chinese market.