Taiwanese government throws taxpayers' money into memory folly

The Taiwanese government is still prepared to plunge unknown millions of dollars into a company set up when the semiconductor industry was in the dolDRAMs.

The Taipei Times said that it will still fund the Taiwan Memory Company (TMC), despite the fact that DRAM companies are moving into the black again.

Although the government is not going to divvy up the $NT8 billion that was requested, a civil servant from the Ministry of Economic Affairs told a reporter from the Taipei Times that TMC will get 40 percent of the capital it wants.

It seems that the government has changed the goal posts, because now it is rattling on about how TMC has a brand new NAND tech out towards the end of the year.

The move will cause disquiet from non-Taiwanese DRAM and NAND makers who are likely to remember how South Korean memory firms were baled out by their government several years ago.

Taiwanese partners in TMC include Photonics Semi, ProMOS and Elite Semi.  If the scheme does go ahead now – and there seems to be every likelihood that it will – we wouldn’t be surprised if complaints to US trade quango the ITC are forthcoming. The Taipei Times is here.

Meanwhile, Digitimes claims TMC has struck an agreement with US company Nanostar for NAND licences. We sense a typhoon brewing here.