Micron Technology


Micron Technology
Micron Technology, Inc.
Type Public (NASDAQMU)
Industry Semiconductors
Founded 1978 (1978)
Headquarters Boise, Idaho, USA
Area served Worldwide
Key people Steve Appleton (Chairman & CEO)
Mark Durcan (President & COO)
Products Computer memory, CMOS Image sensors
Revenue increase US$ 8.48 billion (2010)[1]
Operating income increase US$ 1.58 billion (2010)[1]
Profit increase US$ 1.85 billion (2010)[1]
Total assets increase US$ 14.69 billion (2010)[1]
Total equity increase US$ 8.02 billion (2010)[1]
Employees 25,900 (2011)[1]
Website micron.com

Micron Technology, Inc. (NASDAQMU) is an American multinational corporation based in Boise, Idaho, USA, best known for producing many forms of semiconductor devices. This includes DRAM, SDRAM, flash memory, SSD and CMOS image sensing chips. Consumers may be more familiar with its consumer brand Crucial Technology and retail subsidiary Lexar Media. Micron Technology is among the worldwide top 20 semiconductor sales leaders. Micron and Intel together created IM Flash Technologies designing and producing NAND flash memory.

Contents

History

Micron was founded in Boise, Idaho, in October 1978[2] by Ward Parkinson, Joe Parkinson, Dennis Wilson, and Doug Pitman as a semiconductor design consulting company.[3] Startup funding was provided by local Idaho businessmen Tom Nicholson, Allen Noble, and Ron Yanke. Later it received funding from Idaho billionaire J. R. Simplot, whose fortune was made in the potato business. In 1981, its first wafer fabrication unit ("Fab 1") with 50,000 square feet (4,600 m2) of space was completed and Micron started producing 64K DRAM chips. A second fab was completed in late 1984 to produce 256K DRAM chips.[2]

By focusing on being a low-cost producer, Micron survived numerous collapses in the DRAM market which caused many competitors to leave the industry. One of the most vicious was in 1985, when allegations of Japanese import dumping fueled a price collapse that caused DRAM pioneer Intel to leave the market.[citation needed] Micron survived and eventually acquired the memory businesses of rivals Texas Instruments in 1998 and Toshiba in 2001. These acquisitions gave Micron an international presence with production facilities in Italy, Singapore, and Japan. Today Micron is the only DRAM manufacturer in the United States[citation needed]. In 1994, founder Joe Parkinson retired as CEO and the current CEO Steve Appleton took over as Chairman, President, and CEO.[2]

In the early 1990s the company formed Micron Computers to manufacture PCs. The subsidiary was based in nearby Nampa, Idaho, and sold computers under the brand names Micron, and later, MicronPC & MicronPC.com.[citation needed] ZEOS International, Micron Computer, and Micron Custom Manufacturing Services (MCMS) merged in 1996 to become Micron Electronics.[2]

In 1998 Micron Technology acquired Rendition, a maker of 3D graphics chips.[citation needed]

Control of Micron Technology's Internet business, Micron Internet Services, was transferred to Micron Electronics, Inc. (MEI) in 1999. Micron Electronics took on a new focus - bundling computers and Internet services. MEI CEO Joel Kocher purchased Internet firm HostPro (Web.com), merging it in to the company.[citation needed]

In 2001, the computer-making and Internet business were split. The Internet assets were merged with Interland Inc, which changed its name to web.com, and all ties to Micron Technology were severed. The computer-making operations were sold to Gores Technology Group, which later rebranded the MicronPC brand name to "MPC Computers". MPC Computers, owned by the MPC Corporation (formerly HyperSpace Communications, Inc.) operated out of nearby Nampa, ID. MPC declared bankruptcy in November 2008 and has ceased operations.[citation needed]

In 2002, armed with the Sherman Antitrust Act, the United States Department of Justice began a probe into the activities of dynamic random access memory (DRAM) manufacturers. US computer makers, including Dell and Gateway, claimed that inflated DRAM pricing was causing lost profits and hindering their effectiveness in the marketplace. To date, five manufacturers have pleaded guilty to their involvement in an international price-fixing conspiracy including Hynix, Infineon, Micron Technology, Samsung, and Elpida. Micron Technology was not fined for its involvement due to co-operation with investigators.[4]

In June 2007, Steve Appleton gave up the title of President to COO Mark Durcan.

In March 2008, Micron launched Aptina Imaging,[5] a spin-off of its CMOS Image Sensor Division. Aptina Imaging was partially sold to a group including TPG and Riverwood Capital, and became an independent, privately held company in July 2009. Micron remains a partial owner in the company.

On October 9, 2008, Micron announced a restructuring of its memory operations, with plans to reduce its global workforce by approximately 15 percent. Most of the layoffs were targeted for its headquarters in Boise, due to the elimination of a NAND-memory supply agreement. On October 12, the company announced the purchase of Qimonda's stake in Inotera technologies for $400 million.

On February 23, 2009, Micron announced that it would phase out 200mm wafer production operations at its Boise facility, resulting in the loss of an additional 2,000 jobs. In May 2009, the company acquired the FLCOS microdisplay company Displaytech.

On February 10, 2010, Micron agreed to buy flash-chip maker Numonyx for about $1.27 billion. Micron will issue 140 million shares to Numonyx investors: Intel Corporation, STMicroelectronics and Francisco Partners.

Products

Micron makes DRAM Memory components and modules including SDRAM, DDR SDRAM, DDR2 SDRAM, DDR3 SDRAM, LPDRAM, RLDRAM, PSRAM, and multi-chip packages. It also makes NAND Flash memory, High Speed NAND, eMMC, eUSB, Serial NAND, and SSDs.

In late 2009, the company was the first to announce a solid-state drive using a 6 Gbit/s SATA interface.[6]

Competition

Today, Micron's primary competitors include Samsung, Hynix, Elpida, Toshiba and SanDisk.

See also

References

External links



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