Toshiba rumored to take over Elpida

Acquisition could set the stage for an alliance with Micron.

According to a note from DRAMexchange, a market research division of TrendForce Corp. there is a distinct possibility that Toshiba (TYO:6502) could take over the struggling DRAM manufacturer Elpida (TYO:6665).

Elpida has been struggling for many years in the highly competitive market, where the three main competitors are Hynix, Micron and Samsung.  A deal between Toshiba and Elpida would make good sense as Elpida manufactures DRAM and Toshiba fabs NAND flash.

Both Hynix and Samsung, their competition, manufacture DRAM and flash.  A combined Elpida/Toshiba could even set the stage for a larger alliance between the joint company and American Micron, which is also struggling.

The combined companies would have a capacity of 328,000 wafer starts each month.  Micron manufactures DRAM on its own at the moment, but has a joint venture with Intel for the fabbing of NAND flash.

Scale of operation is becoming even more important as both DRAM and flash are set to run out of steam in the coming years where new technologies such as magnetoresistive memory are set to take over.S|A

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