by Anton Shilov
08/23/2009 | 12:52 PM
Texas Instruments is interested in taking over production equipment of Qimonda AG in Richmond, Virginia, according to media reports. However, the firm does not want to enter the dynamic random access memory (DRAM) business.
According to EETimes web-site, the Delaware insolvency court plans to auction Qimonda’s equipment on the 23rd of September. Texas Instruments has already offered the price of $172.5 million for Qimonda’s equipment. The contract between Qimonda and TI contains a breakup payment of $4.3 million as well as up to $750 thousand in expense reimbursement payable to TI should Qimonda accept the offer.
Texas Instruments reportedly indicated that taking over the 300mm manufacturing equipment would result in the world's first acquisition of 300mm analog wafer manufacturing facility, providing TI a significant manufacturing cost and scale advantage.
Earlier this year Qimonda officially said in a statement that it did not have money to upgrade the Richmond, Virginia-based plant in order to make chips using the company’s much-discussed Buried Wordline technology and leading-edge fabrication processes. Moreover, the company said it was no longer in a financial position to provide for severance benefits to the employees.
What is intriguing is whether the manufacturing tools used to make DRAM can be utilized to produce computing chips at sufficient yields. Texas Instruments, which makes chips based on ARM micro-architecture, has not provided any information regarding its plans to use Qimonda’s equipment.