Chipmaking: January 2009 Archives

The DRAM price crash and the credit crunch have combined to push struggling Qimonda over the edge. Today, the German memory maker applied to a Munich court to go into administration. According to the statement, the company aims to slim down its business even further while in administration.

However, just in case someone does want a memory maker at a significantly lower price than last week, the company was keen to make sure they don't miss the fact that they have the buried-wordline technology. It's mentioned no less than five times in the statement. Buried wordline provides a way of making the memories denser without pushing so hard on the actual process geometries, so could be attractive to the other memory makers out there.

The problem is no one is having much luck getting money out of the banks, which lent heavily in the middle of the decade, with much of the money going to a group of Taiwanese companies. They went on a spending spree which, naturally, led to a glut in DRAM supply and the whole market went south. The unfortunate reality is that there remains too much capacity in the business for the demand that is there. If someone wants buried wordline and has the cash, they probably won't want the fabs that go with it.