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Intel, Micron in Joint Venture

November 22, 2005|From Associated Press

Intel Corp. and Micron Technology Inc. agreed Monday to form a joint venture to produce flash memory for consumer electronics and said the new company had a $500-million deal to supply chips to iPod maker Apple Computer Inc.

IM Flash Technologies will focus on a form of memory known as NAND flash, which is used in a growing number of popular devices such as the iPod nano and other music players, digital cameras and storage gadgets.

Apple, based in Cupertino, Calif., said it would pay $250 million each to Intel and Micron to supply the memory for iPods. The company also reached long-term supply agreements with Hynix Semiconductor Inc., Samsung Electronics Co. and Toshiba Corp. In total, Apple's flash deals are worth $1.25 billion.

Steve Appleton, chief executive of Boise, Idaho-based Micron, said the venture with Intel would have occurred even without demand from Apple, with the market for NAND doubling year over year.

Unlike the dynamic random access memory chips common in computers and other electronic devices, flash memory holds data even after the device is turned off.

Intel of Santa Clara, Calif., and Micron will each initially contribute $1.2 billion in cash, notes and assets to their new venture. Micron will own 51%.

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