The upgrade reflects improving 2011 prospects for NAND flash memory demand, driven by tablets, smartphones and solid-state drives. The improving demand picture offsets concerns about higher supply due to new NAND fabs from Samsung, Toshiba and Micron expanding production in 2011.
Auriga analyst Daniel Berenbaum has reiterated a Buy rating on Micron Technology and an US$11 price target, writing that the company's in much better shape to weather plunging DRAM prices.
Micron says some flash controller jobs are going to migrate down stack towards the NAND chips, freeing up controller manufacturers from chip-dependent work they shouldn't be doing. It sees low-level flash controllers developing and taking on error management, taking this job away from existing NAND controllers.
Following the acquisition of Numonyx earlier this year, Micron Technology has reorganized its memory operations. The company has also recruited Tom Eby, a former executive vice president and chief marketing and sales officer at NOR rival Spansion.
Integrated Silicon Solution (ISSI) has announced that it is working with Micron Technology to become an alternate supplier of Micron's third-generation reduced-latency DRAM (RLDRAM 3 memory).
Micron and SanDisk are chief competitors of South Korean chip giants Samsung Electronics and Hynix Semiconductor in the memory-processor market.
Marketwatch.com (Dow Jones)
Micron Technology is investing US$56 million to expand its Manassas facility and bring 123 new jobs to the area, Virginia officials said Tuesday.
Rambus saw its results improve in the third quarter of 2010 thanks to a licensing deal signed earlier this year with former legal opponent Samsung Electronics. It is negotiating to renew deals with Toshiba and Renesas Electronics after their patent licenses expired.
A Glass Lewis release said: "Micron Technology's performance has steadily deteriorated during the past three years, culminating in a US$1.8 billion loss in 2009 and a return on equity of negative 33.9%, one of the lowest among the companies appearing on our Overpaid 25 list." Micron has not had a good return from its investment in Appleton based on these figures.
One analyst says yes, saying that Micron is going it alone in NAND and without Intel. Intel is not commenting, saying the analyst is only speculating without hard data.
Micron Technology has disclosed in an SEC filing that Samsung has agreed to pay the company US$275 million under a new 10-year patent cross-licensing agreement.
Oracle has sued Micron Technology, alleging it overcharged Sun Microsystems, which Oracle acquired, by conspiring to fix prices for computer memory chips.
Bloomberg (via Businessweek)
The analyst do not expect a meaningful acceleration in enterprise SSD adoption in 2010, but his analysis suggests as system availability improves in the second half of 2010, shipments are set to grow dramatically in 2011.
International Bussiness Times
"Memory fundamentals have slipped more rapidly than we had anticipated due to weak PC and consumer electronics demand," Auriga USA told clients, adding later: "It now seems highly likely that MU's gross margin will dip over the next several quarters as DRAM and NAND pricing continues to weaken."
Hynix will pay an estimated US$422.89 million for the 19.3% stake in the China-based joint venture, Hynix-Numonyx Semiconductor, according to Micron.
It took firefighters from Boise about a half an hour to put out the fire, which broke out in a building that helps support the company's development of solar panels.
AP (via Business Week)
Micron Technology has confirmed its support for the phase-change memory product line and R&D inherited when it acquired Numonyx in May 2010. But a company executive declined to give further details of its technology roadmap or how it plans to scale the technology below the 45nm node.
As compared with previous generations, Micron's new RLDRAM 3 memory offers a further increase in density and speed, while minimizing latency and reducing power consumption for higher performing networking applications. Micron expects to begin sampling its RLDRAM 3 device in the first half of 2011.
Micron Technology's shares slumped more than 13% on concerns about the growth rates for DRAM chips. However, some of the analysts who follow Micron seemed unfazed by the potential negativity, saying that such comments may actually end up benefiting Micron.
Marketwatch.com (Dow Jones)
Thirty-three states, including California, have reached a US$173 million settlement with six DRAM makers alleged to have fixed prices for their products between 1998 and 2002. The companies named in the lawsuit are Micron Technology and NEC Electronics America as well as Infineon Technologies, Hynix Semiconductor, Elpida Memory and Mosel Vitelic.
The US Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit in Washington has rescheduled hearings for Oct. 7. Rambus has been involved in long-standing disputes with Hynix and Micron over patent infringement as well as antitrust issues.
Toshiba, Hynix, Micron and Elpida all moved up at least one position in the top 20 list, with Elpida jumping six spots.
"I think it'll be a story in 2011, and it'll be pretty good penetration in 2012. But, you know, maybe I'm wrong," said Mark Durcan, president and CEO of Micron Technology.
Micron Technology sees strong demand for computer memory this year even as major players like Samsung invest billions of dollars to increase production, according to company president Mark Durcan.
Micron Technology has completed its acquisition of Numonyx in an all stock transaction valued at approximately US$1.2 billion.
Micron officials did not return phone calls to the Statesman, but Boise fire spokeswoman Lynn Hightower said regular operations at the Micron campus were not affected.
Micron Technology will bring faster interfaces to its enterprise SSD (solid-state disk) line in June when it begins shipping its P300 drives to makers of storage equipment.
In the NAND flash rankings for 2009, there is a surprise vendor on the list. According to Web-Feet Research, Samsung Electronics remained the leader in NAND flash in terms of share, followed in order by Toshiba and then SanDisk. SanDisk was ahead of Micron, Hynix and Intel.
The deal will end years of litigation between companies - like Micron Technology, Hynix Semiconductor and Infineon Technologies - and indirect purchasers of DRAM memory chips, which includes California and several other states.
Micron generated revenues of US$4.8 billion in 2009. According to industry estimates, Numonyx generated about US$1.8B in revenues. The combined revenue will make Micron one of the largest memory suppliers in the world.
While analysts are bullish on Micron Technology's acquisition of Numonyx in a US$1.3 billion stock deal, a lack of details on the takeover and a market in decline had investors shying away Wednesday.
That's good news for Samsung, but bad news for its memory rivals that use ASML's tools, such as Elpida, Hynix, IM Flash, Micron, Nanya and others. NAND rival Toshiba is said to use scanners from Nikon.
"I am hearing rumors that Micron maybe buying Numonyx. This deal would only make sense to give Micron a one stop memory source for wireless and all other applications, especially to satisfy Nokia..."
European Union regulators are to charge ten memory chipmakers, including Samsung Electronics, Infineon and Hynix Semiconductor, with fixing prices in breach of EU antitrust rules.
According to Intel and Micron, the 25nm, 8Gb device is currently sampling, and is expected to enter mass production before the second half of 2010.
A settlement between Samsung Electronics Co. (005930.SE) and Rambus Inc. (RMBS) in their long-running legal battles could push co-defendents Micron Technology Inc. (MU) and Hynix Semiconductor Inc. (000660.SE) to do the same, instead of risking billions in potential damages.
Wall Street Journal
Micron Technology has formed a 50:50 joint venture with Australia-based integrated energy company Origin Energy focused on the development of PV (photovoltaic) technology.
The case in San Francisco County Superior Court centers on allegations by Rambus that Micron Technology, Samsung Electronics and Hynix Semiconductor illegally conspired to boycott technology developed by Rambus and took other actions to block its acceptance.
Wall Street Journal
Micron Technology swung to a fiscal first-quarter profit¡Xits first in three years¡Xon higher sales volumes and prices as well as a large prior-year write-down.
Wall Street Journal