Intel and Micron are ahead of schedule on their development of the NAND flash memory joint venture, IM Flash Technologies.
Intel and Micron announced their intent to form a new joint venture in Singapore that will add a fourth fabrication facility to their NAND flash memory manufacturing capability, subject to execution of final agreements for creation of the joint venture company. The Singapore joint venture’s facility, anticipated to come online in the second half of 2008, will initially use 50nm process technology on 300mm wafers. The Singapore facility is expected to break ground in the first half of next year.
“Micron has a long history of conducting business in Singapore with our manufacturing facility there, and this decision with Intel is a natural extension of our positive experience in Singapore,” said Steve Appleton, Micron chairman, CEO and president. “Singapore offers a great place for high technology with well-developed infrastructure and an educated workforce. It’s an ideal location for a manufacturing facility.”
“We are quite pleased with the progress IM Flash Technologies has made in a very short period of time, positioning us for future growth in the NAND marketplace,” said Brian Harrison, vice president, general manager, Flash Memory Group, Intel Corporation. “By executing to our strategy of ramping one 300mm fab per year, we fully expect to become one of the top manufacturers of NAND flash memory.”
“The multi-billion dollar plant will be Singapore’s largest NAND flash manufacturing facility when it is fully operational. This investment by Intel and Micron will not only add to the vibrancy of our semiconductor industry, it will also strengthen Singapore’s position internationally in the high-growth NAND flash memory market,” said Siong-Guan Lim, Chairman at the Singapore Economic Development Board.
Since the formation of IM Flash in January, the companies have brought online a 300 millimeter NAND fabrication facility in Manassas, Virginia, and a Lehi, Utah, 300mm facility is on track to be in production early next year. The venture also currently produces NAND memory through existing capacity at Micron’s Boise, Idaho, fabrication facilities.
Additionally, Micron and Intel introduced in July the industry’s first NAND flash memory samples built on 50 nanometer (nm) process technology. Both companies are sampling 4 gigabit 50nm devices now, with plans to produce a range of products, including multi-level cell NAND technology, starting next year.