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PCT bags Microchip's NOR flash license

Posted: 15 Jul 2010     Print Version  Bookmark and Share

Keywords:NOR flash  NAND  Microchip NOR flash market 

Microchip Technology Inc. has given an exclusive limited license to sell serial NOR flash products from its Silicon Storage Technology subsidiary to Taiwan's Professional Computer Technology Ltd (PCT) in a move which is in line with its divestment of NOR assets

PCT is a distributor that specialises in the distribution of software, chips, modules and other semiconductor parts. The license is limited to certain geographic regions and industry segments. The financial terms of the license were not disclosed. Since 1993, PCT has been a sales rep for flash memory for SST.

In April, Microchip and SST announced that Microchip completed its previously announced acquisition of SST. In May Microchip outlined plans for the SST acquisition. Microchip said it would break up SST and sell many of the pieces to outside companies, including SST's NAND controller, power amp and other lines. Microchip said it has no plans to enter the commodity NOR flash business.

Also in May, Microchip announced the sale of several product lines that came to the company with the recent SST acquisition—including NAND drives, NAND controllers and other products—to Greenliant Systems Ltd. Formed in April, Greenliant is headed by Bing Yeh, the former CEO of SST. The financial terms of the deal were not disclosed.

Now, Microchip has entered into a deal with PCT. This is an exclusive limited licence to sell serial NOR-flash products of SST from 512KB to 64MB density in the geographic regions of Taiwan, China, Hong Kong and ASEAN.

The licence is limited to the industry segments of optical disc drives, STBs, electronic books, video games, digital displays, DVD player/recorder, notebook computers, netbooks, desktop computers, PC monitors, mass storage devices, printers/scanners/ copiers/faxes, PC-CAM, point of sale devices, graphics cards, servers/clients/workstations and mobile phones.

PCT has no licence to sell these products to any industry segments or geographic regions. Certain undisclosed multi-national customers are excluded from this licence.

Under this licence, PCT will be able to buy wafers for the serial NOR-flash products from SST's foundries in Taiwan and China and have the wafers probed, assembled and tested using SST's qualified subcontractors in Taiwan and China.

PCT will then sell these products under its own brand name.

"This deal continues our restructuring of the SST business by allowing Microchip to transfer an important component of SST's serial NOR-flash memory business to PCT through the grant of an exclusive limited licence. Microchip has received a licence fee at closing and will receive a royalty on the sale of each device. This deal will reduce SST's memory revenue and monetise it in the form of a licence fee and ongoing royalties," said Steve Sanghi, president and CEO of Microchip, in a statement.

"With the sale of NAND drives and certain memory products to Greenliant Systems Ltd on May 21, 2010 and this exclusive limited licence for a significant piece of memory business to PCT, Microchip is well on its way to restructuring its SST subsidiary into a business model that will complement the Microchip operating model," Sanghi added.

- Mark LaPedus
EE Times

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