Friday, October 5, 2007

Qimonda and Sony to Jointly Develop High-Performance Memory Technologies

Leading consumer electronics company Sony Corp. and Qimonda, a leading developer and producer of computer memory, have announced intention to form joint venture called Qreatic Design that will create innovative memory technologies for different kinds of applications. While no details are clear, the fact that Sony and Qimonda plan to establish a company that will inevitably compete against companies like Rambus brings in an intrigue.

According to the agreement, the 50:50 joint venture is intended to start with up to 30 specialists from Sony and Qimonda, bringing together their first-class engineering expertise for the mutual benefit of both companies. Qreatic Design, which will be located in Tokyo, Japan, is planned to start operations by the end of the calendar year, subject to regulatory approvals and other closing conditions, and to substantially expand its capacities by hiring additional designers.
Qreatic Design will develop high-performance, low power, embedded and customer specific dynamic random access memory (DRAM) for consumer and graphics applications. The companies did not elaborate whether it plans to tailor existing technologies, such as DDR, GDDR or XDR, for specific needs of the market, or the joint venture will develop brand-new memory solutions. Considering that initially the company will have only 30 engineers, it is unlikely that it will create high-end proprietary memory solutions, but will rather concentrate on leveraging existing technologies and/or speed-up their implementation in consumer electronics and graphics applications.

By joining forces, the two companies begin to share research and development costs, something that has been increasing rapidly in the recent years. Additionally, Qimonda will be able to reach Japanese customers easier with Tokyo-based Qreatic Design, whereas Sony Corp. may tap into the market of high-end memory.

“We believe that the joint venture will support our future product design and solutions development and will further pave the way for our product diversification in non-PC applications. The set up of a new design center in Tokyo in cooperation with Sony is a strategic step to accelerate the worldwide R&D capabilities in that area. As Japan is an important and dynamic market for us and shows excellent R&D talents especially in the consumer and graphic area, we are glad to consistently expand our successful activities here,” said Kin Wah Loh, president and chief executive of Qimonda.

Tsuyoshi Kashiwagi from Sony has been appointed as president and chief executive of Qreatic Design, Thomas Seifert from Qimonda will serve as chairman of the board.

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