S&P 500 Component
|Traded as||NASDAQ: MU|
|Headquarters||Boise, Idaho, USA|
|Key people||Mark Durcan (CEO)|
|Products||Computer memory, CMOS Image sensors|
|Revenue||US$ 8.48 billion (2010)|
|Operating income||US$ 1.58 billion (2010)|
|Profit||US$ 1.85 billion (2010)|
|Total assets||US$ 14.69 billion (2010)|
|Total equity||US$ 8.02 billion (2010)|
Micron Technology, Inc. is an American multinational corporation based in Boise, Idaho, USA, best known for producing many forms of semiconductor devices. This includes DRAM, SDRAM, flash memory, SSD and CMOS image sensing chips. Its consumer products are marketed under the brands Crucial Technology and Lexar Media. Micron and Intel together created IM Flash Technologies, which produces NAND flash memory.
Micron was founded in Boise, Idaho, in 1978 by Ward Parkinson, Joe Parkinson, Dennis Wilson, and Doug Pitman as a semiconductor design consulting company. Startup funding was provided by local Idaho businessmen Tom Nicholson, Allen Noble, Rudolph Nelson, and Ron Yanke. Later it received funding from Idaho billionaire J. R. Simplot, whose fortune was made in the potato business. In 1981, its first wafer fabrication unit ("Fab 1") with 50,000 square feet (4,600 m2) of space was completed and Micron started producing 64K DRAM chips. A second fab was completed in late 1984 to produce 256K DRAM chips.
By focusing on being a low-cost producer, Micron survived numerous collapses in the DRAM market which caused many competitors to leave the industry. One of the most vicious was in 1985, when allegations of Japanese import dumping fueled a price collapse that caused DRAM pioneer Intel to leave the market. Micron survived and eventually acquired the memory businesses of rivals Texas Instruments in 1998 and Toshiba in 2001. These acquisitions gave Micron an international presence with production facilities in Italy, Singapore, and Japan. In 1994, founder Joe Parkinson retired as CEO and Steve Appleton took over as Chairman, President, and CEO.
In the early 1990s the company formed Micron Computers to manufacture PCs. The subsidiary was based in nearby Nampa, Idaho, and sold computers under the brand names Edge Technology, and later, MicronPC & MicronPC.com.ZEOS International, Micron Computer, and Micron Custom Manufacturing Services (MCMS) merged in 1996 to become Micron Electronics.
Control of Micron Technology's Internet business, Micron Internet Services, was transferred to Micron Electronics, Inc. (MEI) in 1999. Micron Electronics took on a new focus—bundling computers and Internet services. MEI CEO Joel Kocher purchased Internet firm HostPro (Web.com), merging it into the company.
In 2001, the computer-making and Internet business were split. The Internet assets were merged with Interland Inc., which changed its name to web.com, and all ties to Micron Technology were severed. The computer-making operations were sold to Gores Technology Group, which later rebranded the MicronPC brand name to "MPC Computers". MPC Computers, owned by the MPC Corporation (formerly HyperSpace Communications, Inc.) operated out of nearby Nampa, ID. MPC declared bankruptcy in November 2008 and has ceased operations.
In 2002, armed with the Sherman Antitrust Act, the United States Department of Justice began a probe into the activities of dynamic random access memory (DRAM) manufacturers. US computer makers, including Dell and Gateway, claimed that inflated DRAM pricing was causing lost profits and hindering their effectiveness in the marketplace. To date, five manufacturers have pleaded guilty to their involvement in an international price-fixing conspiracy. These manufacturers are Hynix, Infineon, Micron Technology, Samsung, and Elpida. Micron Technology was not fined for its involvement, due to co-operation with investigators.
In June 2007, Steve Appleton gave up the title of President to COO Mark Durcan.
In March 2008, Micron launched Aptina Imaging, a spin-off of its CMOS Image Sensor Division. Aptina Imaging was partially sold to a group including TPG and Riverwood Capital, and became an independent, privately held company in July 2009. Micron remains a partial owner in the company.
On October 9, 2008, Micron announced a restructuring of its memory operations, with plans to reduce its global workforce by approximately 15 percent. Most of the layoffs were targeted for its headquarters in Boise, due to the elimination of a NAND-memory supply agreement. On October 12, the company announced the purchase of Qimonda's stake in Inotera technologies for $400 million.
On February 23, 2009, Micron announced that it would phase out 200mm wafer production operations at its Boise facility, resulting in the loss of an additional 2,000 jobs. In May 2009, the company acquired the FLCOS microdisplay company Displaytech.
On February 10, 2010, Micron agreed to buy flash-chip maker Numonyx for about $1.27 billion. Micron will issue 140 million shares to Numonyx investors: Intel Corporation, STMicroelectronics and Francisco Partners.
On February 23, 2012, Micron Technology will become the largest shareholder of Inotera Memories, a major DRAM (dynamic random access memory) maker in Taiwan, after fully subscribing 763 million shares issued by Inotera for a capital increment of NT$5 billion via private placement.
On February 28, 2012, Micron and Intel announced that they would expand their NAND Flash memory joint venture relationship, to increase the flexibility and efficiency of the joint venture. Intel would sell its stake in IM Flash Singapore to Micron, along with its share of IM Flash Technologies assets in Micron's Manassas, Virginia plant. As a result, IM Flash Singapore became wholly owned by Micron and became its fourth facility in Singapore.
On July 2, 2012 Micron announced they would buy, for $2.5 billion, the bankrupt Elpida Memory, as well as an additional 24% share (in addition to the 65% acquired through Elpida) in Rexchip Electronics from Powerchip. The move is reported to double Micron's share of the memory market to 24%. Kipp Bedard of Micron has said that this move leaves only his company and two South Korean firms as serious DRAM producers and with no additional supply coming into the market there would be no more oversupply, while growth in mobile, networking and servers would drive the market in the future.
Micron makes DRAM Memory components and modules, including SDRAM, DDR SDRAM, DDR2 SDRAM, DDR3 SDRAM, LPDRAM, RLDRAM, PSRAM, and multi-chip packages. It also makes NAND flash memory, high-speed NAND, eMMC, eUSB, serial NAND, and SSDs.
- "2010 Form 10-K, Micron Technology". Google Invester.
- "Micron Company Milestones". Micron. Retrieved 2012-06-07.
- Allan, Roy A. (2001). A history of the personal computer: the people and the technology. Allan Publishing. p. 16. ISBN 0-9689108-0-7. Retrieved 2011-06-20.
- Samsung Agrees to Plead Guilty
- Intel, Micron to form flash-chip venture
- Aptina boosts image; embraces foundries // EETimes, 4/12/2011
- Intel, Micron Open Singapore NAND Flash Plant
- Micron says CEO Steve Appleton has died in a Boise plane crash, The Washington Post, February 3, 2012.
- Statement by Micron Technology Board of Directors, Micron Technology, February 3, 2012.
- Shara Tibken, Don Clark, 'Micron Tech CEO Dies in Plane Accident', in The Wall Street Journal, February 3, 2012 
- Intel, Micron Update NAND Flash Memory Joint Venture
- IM Flash Singapore is now Micron
- "Then there were 3: Micron slowly 'wipes out' NAND flash rivals."
- Micron may shut Israel plant by 2015
- Ng, Jansen (2009-12-02). "Micron Announces World's First Native 6Gbps SATA Solid State Drive". DailyTech. Retrieved 2009-12-02.
- Micron Technology, Inc (company website)
- Milestones of Micron Technology at micron.com
- Crucial.com (Consumer sales for Micron memory)
- Lexar - Subsidiary of Micron Technology
- IM Flash, an Intel, Micron Venture