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Sony and Infineon arm in joint venture

05 октября 2007

Sony has launched a joint venture with Qimonda, a German chip maker, to design high-end memory chips for consumer gadgets, in a reaction to dwindling margins in a cut-throat semiconductor market.

The Japanese electronics group and Qimonda, a listed subsidiary of German chip maker Infineon, said the joint venture, to be christened Qreatic Design, would begin to design dynamic random access memory chips by the end of this year.
The companies said 30 specialists at the Tokyo-based venture would pool the German group’s expertise in making D-Ram chips with Sony’s skill in finding a use for them in products such as mobile phones and cameras.
The deal is to help Sony cut costs at its loss-making chip division, which makes parts for the Playstation consoles. It is also part of a broader group turnround being pursued by chief executive, Howard Stringer.
Qimonda chief executive Kin Wah Loh said the move would “further pave the way” for his group to focus on custom-made chips, cutting its dependence on personal computers and their thirst for ever-cheaper standard components.
Prices for D-Ram chips are continuing to fall, leaving companies such as Samsung from South Korea and Elpida from Japan to contend with shrinking margins – a trend that could pave the way for more industry consolidation.
Qimonda this summer reported a loss in the three months to 30 June and parent Infineon last month announced a secondary share offer in a bid to cut its stake in the memory-chip maker further.
In Tokyo, Sony closed 4.3 per cent higher at a two-month high of Y5,890 on Tuesday. NYSE-listed Qimonda stock was slightly higher at $11.20.

Источник: Financial Times

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