Ex-Elpida CEO forms memory startup

March 17, 2016 // By Peter Clarke
Yukio Sakamoto
Yukio Sakamoto, the former CEO of Elpida Memory Inc. up until its acquisition by Micron Technology Inc. in 2013, has formed a fabless company to design and license out non-JEDEC DRAMs.

Sino King Technology Ltd. (Hong Kong, China) said it intends to use the memory expertise of engineers from Japan and Taiwan together with Chinese investment to develop DRAMs.

The company has not indicated how much investment it will receive to fund a hiring spree of up to 1,000 engineers, but according to a Nikkei Asian Review report Sino King will be part of a $7 billion project being conducted by the ciy of Hefei, capital of Anhui province in eastern China, to build a wafer fab to make chips. This wafer fab will be separate to Sino King, which plans to develop low power DRAM chips for Internet of Things (IoT) applications with mass production slated for 2H17.

Sino King said it wants to develop application-specific DRAM that do not comply with JEDEC standards because this will speed up the development cycle. And by going application-specific, the company argues, it will uncover new DRAM demand not compete less with existing, JEDEC-compliant DRAM vendors.

Sakamoto has plans initially to hire between 200 and 300 engineers and managers from Japan and Taiwan and expand this to about 1,000 engineers across sites in Japan, Taiwan and China in 2017.

On the Sino King website Sakamoto states that the company has been formed to develop DRAM in China and help that country meet its IC self-sufficiency goals.  At present China consumes 60 percent of global DRAMs in the assembly of televisions, personal computers and smartphones but manufactures almost none.

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Nikkei Asian Review report

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