Micron's Taichung plant in central Taiwan expected to be ready in 2020 Q4

(CNA photo)

(CNA photo)

Micron Memory Taiwan Co., a subsidiary of U.S.-based dynamic random access memory (DRAM) chip maker Micron Technology Inc., said Monday that construction of a new plant coded A3 is scheduled to be completed in the fourth quarter of 2020.

The announcement made by Micron Taiwan came after local media reported earlier Monday that the U.S. DRAM giant would invest NT$400 billion (US$12.70 billion) to build two wafer plants -- A3 and A5 -- in central Taiwan to produce next-generation DRAM chips.

The report said the new wafer plants would target chips for applications in the Internet of Things, automotive electronics and emerging 5G technology.

In response, Micron Taiwan said the A3 plant is aimed at expanding the company's clean room capacity and upgrading its technologies rather than boosting its wafer production in Taiwan.

The company said the A3 plant will be located near its existing wafer plant and backend integrated circuit packaging and testing plant in the Houli section of the Central Taiwan Science Park.

Micron Taiwan denied it was planning to build an A5 wafer plant but did say it would continue to seek land for further investments in Taiwan to fulfill its economic responsibility as a major semiconductor firm here.

As for the A3 plant, Micron declined to disclose any financial terms for the new plant or any other details about the new investment.

Micron, currently the third largest DRAM maker in the world behind Samsung Electronics Co. and SK Hynix Inc. of South Korea, has more than 34,000 employees in 17 countries worldwide and owns more than40,000 patents.

In Taiwan, Micron has a workforce of about 8,000 and operates two wafer plants, one in Taoyuan and the other in Taichung. The IC packaging and testing plant in Taichung became operational in late October 2018.

Analysts said it was understood Micron will not expand its wafer production capacity at a time when the global DRAM market already faces a supply glut, and its move to limit its expansion is expected to stabilize memory chip prices.

Micron's main goal, analysts said, was to upgrade its production technology to meet demand for more sophisticated DRAMs and raise its competitiveness.