Taiwan’s plan to restructure its dynamic RAM industry seems to have met its end—not with a bang but with a whimper. The plan was to consolidate the industry and acquire new technology under the banner of a new company, Taiwan Innovation Memory Co. (TIMC), created in March 2009. In mid-November, the country’s lawmakers rejected the cabinet’s request for the National Development Fund to invest NT $5 billion (about US $150 million) in TIMC—all but ending what had turned out to be a pretty unpopular project.
The plan had its origins in 2008’s disastrous downturn. Then, DRAM makers around the world found themselves in a financial bind following an orgy of overcapacity and plummeting prices. Manufacturers in Europe, Japan, Korea, and Taiwan turned to their governments for help, although it was too late for Germany’s Qimonda, which went under early last year.