Intel-Micron deal could be on the verge of collapse

The relationship between Intel and Micron appears to be under strain with the closure of their joint-venture IM Flash Technologies becoming an increasing possibility.

The difficulties the two companies are having with one another focus on a dispute Micron raised over Intel’s contributions to IM Flash Singapore, a fabrication plant the duo operate. Micron’s CEO, Steven Appleton, accused Intel of failing to provide the necessary funding for upping production at the Singapore plant.

This has led to speculation that Intel’s reluctance to invest could mark a long-term decision to wind up its IM Flash Technologies operation and end its partnership with Micron.

Following Appleton’s comments, the director of the Asia-Pacific division of the embedded sales and ultra-mobility group at Intel, Michael Chen, resigned. Intel said that he resigned for personal reasons, but the timing raises further questions, and eyebrows over what will become of the tenuous Micron deal. Chen was an important figure in securing partnerships with other companies in the region.

IM Flash Technologies was jointly founded in 2006 by Intel and Micron. It operates two plants, one in Singapore and the other in Utah, both of which operate 300mm wafer architecture. The company has roughly 2,000 employees, all of whom could be looking forward to the dole queue.