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Micron Ramps Up Taiwan and Japan Operations to Lead AI Memory Chip Demand

Micron intensifies focus on Taiwan and Japan as strategic production hubs for advanced DRAM and HBM chips, targeting the booming demand in AI applications like ChatGPT and Bard. CEO Mehrotra highlights Micron Taiwan's pivotal role in the AI revolution
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U.S. memory chip giant, Micron, amplifies its commitment to Taiwan and Japan as pivotal production centers for cutting-edge DRAM and HBM chips, poised to meet the surging demand from the AI renaissance. Naga Chandrasekaran, Senior VP of Technology Development at Micron, underscores the critical role of Taiwan and Japan in advancing Micron’s advanced memory technologies.

Sanjay Mehrotra, President and CEO of Micron, during the inauguration of the latest production and testing facility in Taichung, Taiwan, affirms the company’s ongoing investment in the island. This facility will be instrumental in ramping up HBM production, a memory type pivotal for swift data transmission achieved by stacking multiple DRAM chips.

With $30 billion invested in Taiwan over the past decade, Micron solidifies its position as the primary production base for DRAM chips. Mehrotra emphasizes the indispensable role of AI memory in the ongoing AI revolution, with Micron Taiwan at its core.

Micron’s strategic move aligns with Nvidia’s H100, which powers the widely-used ChatGPT chatbot. Combining a graphic processor unit (GPU) with six HBM chips, it enables high-speed data transmission critical for training large AI language models.

SK Hynix, a South Korean leader in the sector, holds approximately 50% of the global HBM market, driven by its enduring partnership with Nvidia. In 2022, Samsung and Micron held about 40% and 10% respectively, according to Trendforce.

Micron is set to elevate HBM production in response to growing demand, with Nvidia slated to incorporate Micron’s HBM chips in upcoming AI computing products.

Notably, Micron initiated mass production of its cutting-edge 1-beta generation DRAM in Hiroshima, Japan, last year. This advanced production technology is gradually shifting a portion of its chip output to Taiwan.

In a forward-looking move, Micron designates Taiwan as the initial site for producing its next-gen 1-gamma node DRAM, marking the company’s first memory chips to employ extreme ultraviolet (EUV) technology. Donghui Liu, Head of Micron Taiwan, reveals plans for production expansion into Japan.

Micron earmarks up to 500 billion yen ($3.6 billion) for Japanese investments in the coming years, focusing on Hiroshima prefecture.

Eyeing on-device generative AI, Micron collaborates with chip innovators like Qualcomm to deliver high-performance mobile DRAM.

Lu, in remarks to reporters, expresses optimism that the chip market is rebounding from the recent downturn, particularly in high-end segments like HBM. However, a comprehensive recovery across all memory segments is yet to materialize.

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