Micron to Make Massive Investment in Japan

Micron Technology of the U.S., the world’s third largest company in the memory semiconductor industry, will make an aggressive investment targeting Korean firms. Accordingly, the competition in the semiconductor market, which already suffers from a depression in the personal computer (PC) market and the slowdown in smartphone market growth, is expected to be stronger.

According to the Nihon Keizai Shimbun on Oct. 12, Micron is planning to mass produce advanced memory semiconductors for smartphones in Japan. In order to do so, the company will spend 100 billion yen (US$830 million or 1 trillion won) for a year at the Hiroshima plant of Elpida Memory, which was taken over in 2013, to install cutting-edge facilities, and secure mass-production technology.

Micron also plans to up its investment in production and research by 40 percent to US$5.8 billion (6.67 trillion won) in the fiscal year ending Aug. 2016, with a specific focus on DRAM and NAND flash memory chips. A considerable portion of DRAM investments will be injected to install a 16 nm chip processing system at the plant in Hiroshima. The 16 nm process is the most advanced semiconductor technology, which has 20 percent to 30 percent more productivity than the current 20 nm process technology, since it can produce more semiconductors with a single silicon wafer.

About 5 billion to 6 billion yen (US$41.78 to $50.13 million or 48.02 to 57.73 billion won) will be invested in the equipment of each factory. Micron had already spent 100 billion yen (US$830 million or 1 trillion won) to expand facilities at its plant in Hiroshima by the end of Aug. this year. Also, the company plans to make additional investments at other sites in the U.S., Japan, and Taiwan. Samsung Electronics is also preparing to install the 16 nm processing facilities in a bid to produce the next-generation DRAM chips, according to Nihon Keizai.


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