Micron completes $2 billion buy of chip supplier to Apple

Idaho-based Micron Technology immediately becomes one of the largest suppliers of mobile memory for popular products like the iPad and iPhone.

Elpida memory is used in the iPad 4, iPhone 5, and second-generation Nexus 7, among other popular mobile devices.
Elpida memory is used in the iPad 4, iPhone 5, and second-generation Nexus 7, among other popular mobile devices. Apple

Micron Technology has completed the acquisition of Japan-based Elpida, instantly making it one of the largest suppliers of mobile memory chips for devices like the iPad, iPhone, and Nexus 7.

Micron and Elpida trustees have announced the closing of the U.S. company's acquisition of 100 percent of Elpida's equity, the two companies announced Wednesday. The deal, estimated at $2 billion, had been in the works since July 2012.

"Using its advanced technologies, Elpida has built a strong presence in Mobile DRAM, targeting mobile phones and tablets," Micron said in a statement.

That may be an understatement. Elpida memory has been a steady supplier to Apple and a mainstay in Apple's iPad and iPhone. Elpida memory also is used in the just-released second-generation Nexus 7.

Idaho-based Micron is already one of the largest memory manufacturers in the world. It also markets memory and solid-state drives under the Lexar and Crucial brands.

Elpida's assets include a DRAM fabrication facility in Hiroshima, Japan and a 65 percent ownership interest in Rexchip, whose assets include a DRAM fabrication facility in Taiwan, Micron said. Elpida also has a 100 percent ownership interest in Akita Elpida Memory, whose assets include an assembly and test facility located in Akita, Japan. From the statement:

Together with the Rexchip shares acquired from Powerchip, Micron will control approximately 89 percent of Rexchip's outstanding shares and 100 percent of Rexchip product supply. The manufacturing assets of Elpida and Rexchip together can produce more than 185,000 300mm wafers per month, which represents an approximate 45 percent increase in Micron's current manufacturing capacity.

Yukio Sakamoto, CEO of Elpida, announced his resignation, effective with today's closing of the deal.

About the author

Brooke Crothers writes about mobile computer systems, including laptops, tablets, smartphones: how they define the computing experience and the hardware that makes them tick. He has served as an editor at large at CNET News and a contributing reporter to The New York Times' Bits and Technology sections. His interest in things small began when living in Tokyo in a very small apartment for a very long time.

 

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