NEC, Hitachi to merge DRAM operations

Design and development coming together first, then marketing and manufacture

NEC and Hitachi are about to combine their DRAM development operations, according to sources close to both companies and cited by Japan's Nikkei Microdevices newswire. To be called NEC Hitachi Memory, the JV will be announced before the end of the year and will go live next April to unify both companies' next-generation DRAM development and design efforts. Hitachi's development team will move into NEC's Japanese DRAM facility, and a Hitachi executive will become the combined operation's VP -- NEC will supply the president, the newswire reported today. The second stage of the plan will involve the combination of the two companies' DRAM marketing efforts, set to take place before the end of next year. Right now, neither have agreed to merge their production lines, but it is believed they are discussing the possibility. And given that the combined development operation will handle all test production, bring together full-scale manufacturing has to be on the cards. ®

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