Hynix Fabs 1 and 2 in Wuxi, China were engulfed in flames today after a chemical fire broke out. The fire was large and in many of the pictures circling the internet the buildings appeared to be totally immolated. When the news of the fire broke it was estimated that as much as 30% of world memory production were destroyed. This led to much speculation about memory shipments and prices as well as how long the consumer electronics industry will be affected.
Samsung is starting a mass production of new 20-nanometer LPDDR3 memory chips in 4 GB capacity. According to the manufacturer, it is the first memory chips for mobile phones that will be a performance comparable with the memory modules used in personal computers.
FUD (Fear Uncertainty and Doubt) is annoying to read regardless of what side is doing it. Today’s bit of FUD is about Apple decreasing the amount of memory they are using from Samsung for the next iPhone. To start off with the decrease is nothing new nor is it unexpected. Apple used Elpida as the primary source for memory in the third generation iPad last year. They liked the product and the price so we would not expect them to drop that particular connection. Another supplier of memory to Apple is Micron Technologies. By an amazing coincidence Micron is also planning to buy Elpida some, like Citibank even feel that Apple might have encouraged Micron to make the purchase last year.
Today we find a rumor turning to truth as Micron Technology has admitted it is considering rescue buyout of Elpida Memory. Elpida has been the subject of something of an acquisition hot potato as at least two other companies have considering grabbing them up in the last 18 months. As things stand it looks like Hynix, Naya and Toshiba are also interested in picking up the bankrupt company.