Intel and ST wait for yay or NOR from FTC

01 October 2007

The flash memory company created by a partnership between Intel, STMicroelectonics and Francisco Partners, a private equity firm, has run into trouble as the US Federal Trade Commision (FTC) reviews whether anti-trust violations have occurred.

The flash memory company, called Numonyx was announced in May, although the name has only just been released. The European Commission’s anti-trust bureau approved the new company, whose headquarters are in Switzerland. However, the US government seems unsure about a venture that will reduce the ailing NOR memory market to just three main players, namely Samsung and a joint venture between Fujitsu and AMD. The FTC has taken the unusual step of asking from more information from Intel.

When originally announced, the new company declared it will focus on non- volatile memory for mobile phones, MP3 players, digital cameras, computers and industrial devices.

Future prospects In-Stat reports that Intel is adding to it's competitive position in R&D and manufacturing. The company will adopt the 45nm process node with high-k dielectrics and metal gates beginning in late 2007. It will then look to enhance its semiconductor manufacturing offerings in 2009 with new technology at the 32nm process node and a new round of new and refurbished fabs.

Intel now has enough combined 200mm and 30mm capacity to satisfy estimated demand for microprocessors, core logic chip sets and other supporting devices.

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