NEC plans ?35m investment to upgrade Scottish DRAM facility

NEC plans ?35m investment to upgrade Scottish DRAM facility
David Manners NEC is to put ?35m into its Livingston semiconductor factory to upgrade its facilities for next generation parts. “The investment is for the 128Mbit Direct Rambus DRAM and 128Mbit synchronous DRAM which require a 0.21 micron process,” Hideto Goto, managing director of the fab, told Electronics Weekly. Livingston will be the third fab in the NEC stable to be upgraded to 0.21?m and the first overseas. The others are at Hiroshima and Kyushu. “In Japan we have already started small volume production, and in the UK we are just starting the test vehicle. We expect to be in production by summer or the early fall,” said Goto. The investment will be made at NEC’s Fab 2 at Livingston which was opened by former Prime Minister John Major in 1995. The investment reflects NEC’s determination to stay in the DRAM business as a major player while others, like Fujitsu which closed its Newton Aycliffe fab, and Infineon (see story p2) which closed its Tyneside fab, look for a retreat to specialty areas or partnerships, respectively. Industry analysts are pointing to four major DRAM players emerging: Hyundai/ LG, Samsung, Micron and NEC. Between them they could command 70 per cent of the world DRAM market, squeezing the remaining players into product niches.


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