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NEC, Hitachi ask Intel to invest in DRAM venture

NEC and Hitachi have asked Intel for capital investment in Elpida Memory, their DRAM joint venture.

Details, including the size of the investment and which unit of Intel was asked, were not disclosed. Elpida hoped to reach an agreement by the end of its financial year in March, said Elpida spokesman Hiroshi Saito.

Elpida will use any possible new investment at its new plant in Hiroshima, which is expected to start mass production this month. The plant has output capacity of 3,000 300mm wafers a month.

NEC and Hitachi invested a total of ¥44bn (£229m) last November to finance this plan.

In 2001, Intel agreed to invest in Samsung's Rambus DRAM manufacturing operations for its Pentium 4 chip set

Tokyo-based Elpida is Japan's only major DRAM supplier as Mitsubishi withdrew from the arena last October by selling its operations to Elpida.

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