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Electronics Production | February 03, 2009

Qimonda to close Richmond 300mm manufacturing facility, USA

The focus on Buried Wordline technology is therefore a key element of Qimonda's global restructuring and cost-reduction programme. This is the reason that production will now be ramped down at the Richmond 300mm manufacturing facility, Virginia (USA).
At the same time, in order to stabilise its ongoing operations even further, loss-making products and contracts are being discontinued and core production activities are being intensified. Given the current macroeconomic climate, it is not possible to finance a conversion of this facility for Buried Wordline technology production. In the future, more customers will be supplied with chips from the plant in Dresden. Approximately 1,500 employees are affected by this restructuring measure. Production at the other Qimonda AG facilities continues for the time being.

“This is an essential step for us in order to improve our production efficiency and thoroughly orient Qimonda towards the next generation of memory, the innovative Buried Wordline technology,” said Thomas Seifert, member of the management board of Qimonda. In addition, establishing the viability of the core development and production capabilities of the company is a critical first step in the search for new investors.

Qimonda is making consistent advances in its orientation towards its Buried Wordline technology. After seeing the first generation with a size of 65nm achieve good results in mass production in Dresden, the developers have now created the first operational DDR3 memory modules based on the latest 46nm technology.

The new 46nm technology will triple the number of chips per wafer compared with the current 75nm technology, and thus is expected to increase production efficiency by 200 percent. Furthermore, preliminary results show that power consumption will be reduced by up to 75 percent. “We are confident that our new technology is the key innovation for us to move onwards into a lucrative future," says Thomas Seifert, CFO and COO of Qimonda AG. “The first successful test runs with the new 46nm module generation and the customer feedback up to now have been very encouraging.”

Industry experts believe that this new generation of chip represents a clear advantage for Qimonda over the competition. The global market leader Intel Corporation also recently confirmed Qimonda's leading position in DDR3 technology.

No final decisions have yet been taken concerning the future structure of the company, including whether those of its businesses that can be continued will be held through Qimonda AG or placed in a new company owned by new investors. In the latter case, or if investors cannot be found to finance the continuation of Qimonda’s businesses, Qimonda AG would likely be liquidated.

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