Elpida is the last Japanese actor on the DRAM market, and while the Japanese government wants Elpida to merge with Toshiba, which among others makes NAND flash, Elpida has other plans. Elpida, Micron and Nanya are talking about a three-way merger.
Samsung is growing like crazy on the DRAM market, where it is already the largest by a big margin. Due to Samsung’s dominance it also has the biggest capacity and most advanced factories to reduce costs. Besides being twice as large as the cloests competitor, Hynix, and four times the size of Elpida, Samsung is the only company that is making mony on DRAM. At the moment most DRAM chips are sold below manufacturing costs.
Elpida is in a deep economical crisis and could be forced to become a part of Toshiba by the Japanese government to keep a DRAM actor in the country. According to Reuters Japanese Elpida, American Micron and Taiwanese Nanya is discussing a merger. Japanese analyst Yukihiko Shimada comments that this is an interesting idea, but could be hard to go through with.
Nanya has been in the red for seven quarters in a row, but has been kept alive by mother company Formosa Petrochemical Group. Micron that also does NAND flash together with Intel has been losing money for years, and already has a long term venture together with Nanya for developing DRAM technologies until 2018.
RAM are selling below manufacuting costs for Elpida
Even if a merger between Elpida, Micron and Nanya could become real, Samsung will still be the single largest on the market. On a market where everything comes down to large volumes at low prices it could be eough to turn the negative trend. While this is still unconfirmed that none of the companies have chosen to comment, it is clear that the three are talking and there is something going on.