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Memory makers Hynix and ProMOS last week signed strategic agreement under which the Taiwanese manufacturer will be able to use Hynix’s fabrication technology, while the latter will get access to up to 50% manufacturing capacity of ProMOS, which may boost market share of Hynix.

Hynix Gets Access to ProMOS Capacities

The alliance between Hynix and ProMOS is forged to bring a levered growth to both companies on a long-term basis. The partnership is combining Hynix’ advanced DRAM manufacturing technology and ProMOS’s 300mm wafer processing competence. Under the agreement, the two companies would also undertake certain future joint development activities, such as 65nm process technology. Through the alliance, Hynix will be able to secure additional 300mm wafer processing capacity – up to 50% of ProMOS’ capacity –without its own investments.

During the first half of this year, Hynix will ramp up the volume production of 300mm wafers in its own Ichon site. ProMOS will use Hynix’ memory semiconductor technology to run the 300mm foundry service and it will begin at the end of this year. The other 300mm wafer fab for the company will be built in China under the joint investment with Europe’s biggest chipmaker STMicroelectronics. With such strategic moves, that are believed to be essential for a long-term viability of the company, Hynix will keep maintaining its competences in the coming era of the 300mm wafer production.

The Alliance to Control 23% of the Market

According to iSuppli figures for 2004, the combined branding based 256Mb equal DRAM unit market share of Hynix and ProMOS is approximately 23%. The alliance will dramatically strength both sides’ presence in the fast-growing information marketplace, the companies said.

While the current move puts Hynix’s manufacturing capacity and possibly market share significantly above rival Micron’s share of about 15%, it still will not allow Hynix to claim itself largest DRAM maker on the planet, as Samsung’s share of approximately 28% will still be significantly higher compared to Hynix’s.

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