Micron to hire 2,000 employees, set up R&D corridor in Taiwan

06/10/2022 08:57 PM
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Lu Donghui, head of Micron Taiwan. CNA photo June 10, 2022
Lu Donghui, head of Micron Taiwan. CNA photo June 10, 2022

Taipei, June 10 (CNA) U.S.-based dynamic random access memory (DRAM) chip supplier Micron Technology Inc. said Friday the company plans to hire an additional 2,000 employees and set up a research and development (R&D) corridor in Taiwan.

Speaking with reporters, Lu Donghui (盧東暉), the American company's corporate vice president and head of Micron Taiwan, noted that the U.S. DRAM maker has invested in Taiwan for more than two decades and is the largest foreign investor in the country.

Micron is determined to strength its presence in Taiwan by expanding its workforce, which will involve the recruitment of about 2,000 individuals over the next two to three years and continue its investments here as part of the company's efforts to cultivate a talent pool in Taiwan and provide better services to clients, Lu said.

Lu joined Micron in February and met with the press for the first time on Friday.

However, he did not provide any further details about Micron's investment plan in Taiwan.

Currently, Micron has more than 10,000 employees in Taiwan and operates two advanced DRAM production sites in Taoyuan and Taichung with another backend factory in Taichung, an indication of Taiwan's role as one of the company's production hubs worldwide.

Micron Taiwan has started mass production of the 1-alpha nanometer node DRAM process, an industry leading memory chip technology, which has helped put the U.S. company ahead of its peers in global memory chip manufacturing, according to Lu.

Last year, Micron unveiled its 1-alpha nm node DRAM, which the company said has a 40 percent improvement in memory density over its previous 1z nm node DRAM. Taiwan's volume production of 1-alpha nm node DRAM started with DDR4 memory for computer customers and crucial consumer PC DRAM products, according to a company press release in early 2021.

Micron's Japan base is developing the more advanced 1 beta nm process, and when that technology goes into mass production next year, the process is expected to be transferred to its Taiwan production sites, Lu said.

To upgrade Taiwan's production technology through more investment, Lu said, Micron will install cutting-edge extreme ultraviolet (EUV) lithography production equipment at its A3 fab in Taichung in the second half of this year. EUV refers to a soft X-ray technology, which has a wavelength of 13.5 nm.

The DRAM maker will assign an R&D team to the upcoming R&D corridor in Taichung's A3 fab, where the company will develop the even more advanced 1 gamma nm node process, which is scheduled to start mass production in 2024, by taking advantage of the new EUV equipment, Lu said.

While the global market has seen some impact from uncertainties such as the invasion of Ukraine by Russia, Lu said he believes the effects will be short-lived and he still has faith in the memory chip market longer term, adding the company aims to improve its supply chain to boost future growth.

Micron will continue to focus on the fast growing sectors of automotive electronics, industrial gadgets as well as data centers, which are expected to stabilize the company's gross margin, referring to the difference between revenue and cost of goods sold, Lu said.

In 2016, Mircon completed a deal to acquire a 67 percent stake in Taiwan DRAM maker Inotera Memories Inc. for NT$130 billion (US$4.39 billion), bringing the Taiwanese company fully under Micron Taiwan's corporate umbrella. Before the acquisition, Micron had held a 33 percent stake in Inotera.

(By Chang Chien-chung, Shih Shiu-chuan and Frances Huang)

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