Micron Technology is now the second largest suppliers of mobile memory chips in the world after closing on a deal to purchase Japan-based Elpida. Terms of the deal, which has been in the works since mid-2012, weren’t publically disclosed although most estimate it’s valued at $2 billion.
Included in the deal are all of Elpida’s assets which consist of a DRAM fabrication facility in Hiroshima, Japan, and a 65 percent stake in Rexchip, another memory company with a DRAM fabrication facility in Taiwan. Furthermore, Elpida owned 100 percent of Akita Elpida Memory with an assembly and test facility in Akita, Japan.
In a statement on the matter, Micron noted Elpida has built a strong presence in mobile DRAM using advanced technologies to target mobile phones and tablets. Truer words were never spoken as Elpida is one of Apple’s key suppliers, having sourced chips for Cupertino’s iPhone and iPad for quite some time. More recently, the company supplied memory for Google’s just-released second generation Nexus 7 tablet.
Micron now has the ability to produce more than 185,000 300mm wafers each month, effectively boosting their current manufacturing capacity by 45 percent.
Even before the acquisition, Micron was already a big player in the memory game as they currently market various flash, DRAM and solid state drive products under the Lexar and Crucial brands – names that are likely familiar with photo and desktop enthusiasts, respectively.