Feeds

Fallen DRAMurai warrior Elpida files for bankruptcy protection

Japanese chipmaker finds itself in a $5.6bn hole

Intelligent flash storage arrays

Japanese chipmaker Elpida Memory filed for bankruptcy protection today after failing to find anyone willing to save it.

Despite rumours that a number of suitors were interested in slurping a stake in the DRAM manufacturer, including Micron Technology and Toshiba, Elpida has had to apply to restructure its business under protection as it staggers under debts of ¥448bn ($5.6bn).

"The circumstances around our company turned from bad to worse due to factors such as the record-breaking strong yen against the US dollar, and the steep fall of the price of DRAM products by fiercer competition in the DRAM industry," Elpida said in a canned statement.

"Within such continuing harsh management environment, an additional negative factor, which is a stagnation of demand for DRAM due to the great flood in Thailand in 2011, has arisen. Based on the background mentioned above, we have concluded that if we continue the business by ourselves, we will face cash shortage soon."

Elpida was formed in 1999 when the DRAM operations of NEC and Hitachi merged, and it listed on the Tokyo Stock Exchange in 2004 after it slurped the DRAM division of Mitsubishi the year before.

The Japanese government stepped in to help the firm in 2009 and made Elpida the first company to trouser cash from a government financial aid programme. The firm got ¥30bn in emergency investment from the state-backed Development Bank of Japan and took out some huge loans with some other banks, the Japan Times said.

Unfortunately for Elpida, the DRAM market didn't get any better in the last four years as prices plummeted and the yen got stronger.

The fat lady isn't singing yet for Elpida - it could still get itself a white knight that might invest in or takeover the biz, but in the meantime its customers are likely to defect to Taiwanese or South Korean chipmakers like Nanya or Samsung.

Samsung has been gobbling up the chip market as Japanese firms run into trouble, not least because it boosted its DRAM business with quick diversification into the NAND chips used in smartphones, fondleslabs and cameras. ®

Choosing a cloud hosting partner with confidence

More from The Register

next story
I'll be back (and forward): Hollywood's time travel tribulations
Quick, call the Time Cops to sort out this paradox!
Musicians sue UK.gov over 'zero pay' copyright fix
Everyone else in Europe compensates us - why can't you?
Megaupload overlord Kim Dotcom: The US HAS RADICALISED ME!
Now my lawyers have bailed 'cos I'm 'OFFICIALLY' BROKE
MI6 oversight report on Lee Rigby murder: US web giants offer 'safe haven for TERRORISM'
PM urged to 'prioritise issue' after Facebook hindsight find
BT said to have pulled patent-infringing boxes from DSL network
Take your license demand and stick it in your ASSIA
Right to be forgotten should apply to Google.com too: EU
And hey - no need to tell the website you've de-listed. That'll make it easier ...
prev story

Whitepapers

Seattle children’s accelerates Citrix login times by 500% with cross-tier insight
Seattle Children’s is a leading research hospital with a large and growing Citrix XenDesktop deployment. See how they used ExtraHop to accelerate launch times.
5 critical considerations for enterprise cloud backup
Key considerations when evaluating cloud backup solutions to ensure adequate protection security and availability of enterprise data.
Forging a new future with identity relationship management
Learn about ForgeRock's next generation IRM platform and how it is designed to empower CEOS's and enterprises to engage with consumers.
High Performance for All
While HPC is not new, it has traditionally been seen as a specialist area – is it now geared up to meet more mainstream requirements?
Beginner's guide to SSL certificates
De-mystify the technology involved and give you the information you need to make the best decision when considering your online security options.