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Qimonda exits U.S.-based manufacturing

04 February 2009 | By Mark Osborne | News > Cleanroom

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Qimonda, Richmond, VirginiaQimonda AG has announced that it will ramp down DRAM production at its 300mm fab in Richmond, Virginia with the loss of approximately 1,500 jobs. The loss-making memory manufacturer has filed for bankruptcy in Germany and does not currently have the capital to convert its Richmond fab to its ‘Buried Wordline’ technology and migrate to smaller geometries. Qimonda had previously announced that its 200mm fab located in Richmond would close as it became uncompetitive, resulting in the final withdrawal of semiconductor manufacturing for the company in the U.S. No official timeline was given for the closure of the 300mm fab.

Efforts are ongoing to ramp ‘Buried Wordline’ technology at its 300mm fab in Dresden, Germany. Qimonda said that its 65nm devices on the new technology were in volume production and that it had now fabricated the first operational DDR3 memory modules based on 46nm ‘Buried Wordline’ technology.

However, Qimonda now needs new investors to inject capital to remain solvent. Funds from the Saxony Government and Portuguese bank (s) previously secured to keep the business afloat are not sufficient due to shortfalls in revenue generation as DRAM prices declined further than expected in the fourth quarter of 2008. Qimonda said in a statement that should it be unable to find new investors, it was likely the company would be liquidated.

The loss of revenue has also come from the sale of its shares in the production of DRAM at Inotera Memories to rival Micron Technology. Upon bankruptcy notification, Inotera stopped shipments to Qimonda, reducing its available supply of approximately 30,000wspm. The ramping down of Richmond will further curtail capacity by approximately 40,000wspm, leaving the company with only one 300mm fab in Dresden.

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Reader comments

I think your comment does not recognize that Asia is by far the most competitive market in the world. It also does not recognize that Qimonda made it to Virgina attracted by massive subsidies, to a region and in a market where it had almost no competitive advantage other than debt guarantees and grants. Don't blame it only on the CEO, blame it on the politicians that are trying to create unsustainable competitive advantages through misplaced ultra targeted subsidies that always end up on fire when trying to play winners at the roulette table. Look at Dresden and see how far the billions of German and EU money spent in Saxony have taken them. Next is Malta, NY where all but dead AMD The Foundry Co. attempts to fight along with all but dead IBM micro its last battle on this Earth. The new economic of the end of Moore's law is killing everyone and the executive teams that made it on the way up need to be replaced by lean time cognizant management teams or else end up in flames like Detroit just did.
By Adolfo Gutierrez on 09 February 2009
This is the most mismanaged co. I have seen. The ceo had deals for Richmond and didn't take it.I hope he and his other minions get theirs. He will make sure the whole co goes under and let the Asian market get the work - by the way he is Asian
By Mike Hunt on 04 February 2009

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