Micron Dumps Synchronous SRAM on Cypress

Faced with a drastically changing market, memory-chip maker Micron Technology said Thursday that it would sell off some of its inventory to Cypress Semiconductor .

Under the terms of the agreement, San Jose Cypress will buy Boise, Idaho-based Micron’s high-performance communications oriented synchronous SRAM product inventory. Financial details were not disclosed.

Recently, Micron recently decided to phase out production of synchronous SRAM products at its worldwide operations. Due to its high cost, SRAM is often used only as a memory cache.

“We believe this agreement provides the best long-term solution for our customers. It gives our customers an uninterrupted supply of SRAM devices from a world-class supplier while allowing Micron to redirect resources and focus on our higher volume semiconductor products,” Micron Vice President of Networking and Communications Jan du Preez said in a statement.

Cypress said it is working closely with Micron to “provide continuity of all customer support aspects.”

“We want to ensure that all of our customers’ concerns are addressed in a proactive manner,” Cypress Senior Vice President Antonio Alvarez said in a statement. “This transaction is consistent with Cypress’s strategy to serve the communications marketplace and complements our existing position in synchronous SRAMs.”

Micron trails only Samsung Electronics among the world’s top memory chipmakers. The company makes dynamic random-access memories , flash memory chips, and memory modules, as well as core-logic chipsets incorporating its memory chips. Top customers include Dell Computer and Hewlett-Packard . Back in May 2001, the company sold its MicronPC business to Los Angeles-based Gores Technology Group, but continues to offer PC memory upgrades to consumers though its Crucial Technology subsidiary.

Recently, Micron has been going though some tough times. In February, the company announced 10 percent reductions of its worldwide workforce for the first time since it was formed in 1985.

The other thorn in Micron’s paw has been its complaint against DRAM semiconductor products manufactured in South Korea.

Micron claims multi-billion-dollar bailout packages and loan subsidies to South Korean semiconductor companies are in violation of U.S. Countervailing Duty laws and South Korea’s commitments under World Trade Organization agreements. The company said the subsidies have included loan write-offs, debt-for-equity swaps, government-induced debt financings and re-financings on noncommercial terms, special export financing and special tax treatment.

Recently, the U.S. Department of Commerce charged that South Korea had unfairly subsidized memory chips imported into the United States in 2001 and the first half of 2002, injuring the U.S. chip industry.

On Tuesday, Seoul, Korea-based Hynix Semiconductor said it would drastically cut its U.S. imports to avoid penalties.

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