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Toshiba Corp. has reportedly decided to join the bidding race to become the sponsor of Elpida Memory's turnaround from bankruptcy, setting the stage for a one-on-one match with U.S. firm Micron Technology, the Nikkei business daily has reported. Toshiba, apparently, wants to sell mobile DRAM for low-power devices along with its own NAND flash memory to interested parties.

Although Toshiba has quit the market of dynamic random access memory (DRAM) years ago, the company is interested in adding mobile DDR and mobile DDR2 memory offerings in its portfolio, as it will be able to sell not only NAND flash chips, but also RAM chips to its customers among smartphone and tablets makers, which will greatly boost its business. Toshiba may also integrate mobile DRAM and NAND flash into a single chip, a technology that promises to be very important in the coming years.

In fact, Toshiba believes that adding Elpida's mobile DRAM to its offerings is crucial for its survival in the chip industry, reports Reuters news-agency. In fact, Toshiba may be perfectly right as Micron Technology and Samsung Electronics indeed offer both NAND flash and low-power DRAM for mobile devices.

Toshiba reportedly might seek financial assistance from the government-backed Enterprise Turnaround Initiative Corp. of Japan, but should act quickly as Elpida will stop accepting bids at the end of April and will select a single sponsor in early May.

Apart from manufacturing relatively expensive GDDR5, mobile RAM and XDR DRAM, Elpida has a lot of production capacities that the company used to make commodity DRAM. At present it is unclear whether Toshiba would continue to sell inexpensive memory chips for PCs, or would convert capacities to make NAND flash memory.

Toshiba, Elpida and Micron did not comment on the news-story.

Tags: Toshiba, Micron, Elpida, DRAM, NAND, Flash, LPDDR, LPDDR2, LPDDR3

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