Legislators defeat Taiwan move to fund TIMC

By : |November 30, 2009 0

TAIPEI, TAIWAN: The legislative economics committee of Taiwan has voted unanimously against the request by the Ministry of Economic Affairs (MOEA) for funds to invest in Taiwan Innovative Memory Company (TIMC), previously called Taiwan Memory Company (TMC).

This happens to be the fourth legislative defeat – and the second major defeat – for the Taiwan government’s attempts to restructure the country’s DRAM sector.

The government has announced many times its ‘mission’ to build the country’s portfolio of home-grown DRAM technology, which would enable local companies to avoid making large payments in royalty to non-domestic technology partners.

However, the Taiwan government’s plan to fund the TIMC, with technological support from Elpida Memory, based in Japan, have given rise to criticism that the move will create a competitor to Taiwan’s DRAM companies that are already struggling.

According to industry analysts, the main opponent of the TIMC project is a camp consisting of the United States-based Inotera Memories, Nanya Technology and Micron Technology. These companies, according to analysts, are supported by the Formosa Plastics Group, which is set to turn its 50nm process technology into mass production in 2010.

In another development, the government of South Korea is planning to support Hynix Semiconductor and Samsung Electronics on a project to develop what is claimed to be the first spin-torque-transfer magnetic-random-access-memory (STT-MRAM) chip in the world.

South Korea’s Yonhap News Agency reported that the government will bear half of the STT-MRAM project’s total cost of 24 billion won (US $20.5 million) till 2014.

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