Micron Technology

Micron Technology

Overview
Micron Technology, Inc. is an American multinational corporation
Multinational corporation
A multi national corporation or enterprise , is a corporation or an enterprise that manages production or delivers services in more than one country. It can also be referred to as an international corporation...

 based in Boise
Boise, Idaho
Boise is the capital and most populous city of the U.S. state of Idaho, as well as the county seat of Ada County. Located on the Boise River, it anchors the Boise City-Nampa metropolitan area and is the largest city between Salt Lake City, Utah and Portland, Oregon.As of the 2010 Census Bureau,...

, Idaho
Idaho
Idaho is a state in the Rocky Mountain area of the United States. The state's largest city and capital is Boise. Residents are called "Idahoans". Idaho was admitted to the Union on July 3, 1890, as the 43rd state....

, USA, best known for producing many forms of semiconductor
Semiconductor
A semiconductor is a material with electrical conductivity due to electron flow intermediate in magnitude between that of a conductor and an insulator. This means a conductivity roughly in the range of 103 to 10−8 siemens per centimeter...

 devices. This includes DRAM
Dram
Dram or DRAM may refer to:As a unit of measure:* Dram , an imperial unit of mass and volume* Armenian dram, a monetary unit* Dirham, a unit of currency in several Arab nationsOther uses:...

, SDRAM
SDRAM
Synchronous dynamic random access memory is dynamic random access memory that is synchronized with the system bus. Classic DRAM has an asynchronous interface, which means that it responds as quickly as possible to changes in control inputs...

, flash memory
Flash memory
Flash memory is a non-volatile computer storage chip that can be electrically erased and reprogrammed. It was developed from EEPROM and must be erased in fairly large blocks before these can be rewritten with new data...

, SSD
Solid-state drive
A solid-state drive , sometimes called a solid-state disk or electronic disk, is a data storage device that uses solid-state memory to store persistent data with the intention of providing access in the same manner of a traditional block i/o hard disk drive...

 and CMOS
CMOS
Complementary metal–oxide–semiconductor is a technology for constructing integrated circuits. CMOS technology is used in microprocessors, microcontrollers, static RAM, and other digital logic circuits...

 image sensing chips. Consumers may be more familiar with its consumer brand Crucial Technology and retail subsidiary Lexar Media
Lexar
Lexar Media, Inc. is an American manufacturer of digital media products based in Fremont, CA. Products manufactured by Lexar include SD cards, Memory Sticks, keydrives, CompactFlash cards and card readers. Lexar's Memory Stick Duos also have versions adapted for the PSP which includes a version of...

. Micron Technology is among the worldwide top 20 semiconductor sales leaders. Micron and Intel together created IM Flash Technologies
IM Flash Technologies
IM Flash Technologies, LLC is the name for the semiconductor company founded in January 2006, by Micron Technology, Inc., one of the world's leading providers of advanced semiconductor solutions, and Intel Corporation, the world’s largest chip maker....

 designing and producing NAND flash memory
Flash memory
Flash memory is a non-volatile computer storage chip that can be electrically erased and reprogrammed. It was developed from EEPROM and must be erased in fairly large blocks before these can be rewritten with new data...

.

Micron was founded in Boise, Idaho, in October 1978 by Ward Parkinson, Joe Parkinson, Dennis Wilson, and Doug Pitman as a semiconductor design consulting company.
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Encyclopedia
Micron Technology, Inc. is an American multinational corporation
Multinational corporation
A multi national corporation or enterprise , is a corporation or an enterprise that manages production or delivers services in more than one country. It can also be referred to as an international corporation...

 based in Boise
Boise, Idaho
Boise is the capital and most populous city of the U.S. state of Idaho, as well as the county seat of Ada County. Located on the Boise River, it anchors the Boise City-Nampa metropolitan area and is the largest city between Salt Lake City, Utah and Portland, Oregon.As of the 2010 Census Bureau,...

, Idaho
Idaho
Idaho is a state in the Rocky Mountain area of the United States. The state's largest city and capital is Boise. Residents are called "Idahoans". Idaho was admitted to the Union on July 3, 1890, as the 43rd state....

, USA, best known for producing many forms of semiconductor
Semiconductor
A semiconductor is a material with electrical conductivity due to electron flow intermediate in magnitude between that of a conductor and an insulator. This means a conductivity roughly in the range of 103 to 10−8 siemens per centimeter...

 devices. This includes DRAM
Dram
Dram or DRAM may refer to:As a unit of measure:* Dram , an imperial unit of mass and volume* Armenian dram, a monetary unit* Dirham, a unit of currency in several Arab nationsOther uses:...

, SDRAM
SDRAM
Synchronous dynamic random access memory is dynamic random access memory that is synchronized with the system bus. Classic DRAM has an asynchronous interface, which means that it responds as quickly as possible to changes in control inputs...

, flash memory
Flash memory
Flash memory is a non-volatile computer storage chip that can be electrically erased and reprogrammed. It was developed from EEPROM and must be erased in fairly large blocks before these can be rewritten with new data...

, SSD
Solid-state drive
A solid-state drive , sometimes called a solid-state disk or electronic disk, is a data storage device that uses solid-state memory to store persistent data with the intention of providing access in the same manner of a traditional block i/o hard disk drive...

 and CMOS
CMOS
Complementary metal–oxide–semiconductor is a technology for constructing integrated circuits. CMOS technology is used in microprocessors, microcontrollers, static RAM, and other digital logic circuits...

 image sensing chips. Consumers may be more familiar with its consumer brand Crucial Technology and retail subsidiary Lexar Media
Lexar
Lexar Media, Inc. is an American manufacturer of digital media products based in Fremont, CA. Products manufactured by Lexar include SD cards, Memory Sticks, keydrives, CompactFlash cards and card readers. Lexar's Memory Stick Duos also have versions adapted for the PSP which includes a version of...

. Micron Technology is among the worldwide top 20 semiconductor sales leaders. Micron and Intel together created IM Flash Technologies
IM Flash Technologies
IM Flash Technologies, LLC is the name for the semiconductor company founded in January 2006, by Micron Technology, Inc., one of the world's leading providers of advanced semiconductor solutions, and Intel Corporation, the world’s largest chip maker....

 designing and producing NAND flash memory
Flash memory
Flash memory is a non-volatile computer storage chip that can be electrically erased and reprogrammed. It was developed from EEPROM and must be erased in fairly large blocks before these can be rewritten with new data...

.

History


Micron was founded in Boise, Idaho, in October 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, and Ron Yanke. Later it received funding from Idaho billionaire J. R. Simplot
J. R. Simplot
John Richard Simplot was the founder of the J. R. Simplot Company, an agricultural supplier specializing in potato products, based in Boise, Idaho. In 2007 he was estimated to be the 89th-richest person in America, at $3.6 billion...

, whose fortune was made in the potato
Potato
The potato is a starchy, tuberous crop from the perennial Solanum tuberosum of the Solanaceae family . The word potato may refer to the plant itself as well as the edible tuber. In the region of the Andes, there are some other closely related cultivated potato species...

 business. In 1981, its first wafer fabrication unit ("Fab 1") with 50000 square feet (4,645.2 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 Japan
Japan
Japan is an island nation in East Asia. Located in the Pacific Ocean, it lies to the east of the Sea of Japan, China, North Korea, South Korea and Russia, stretching from the Sea of Okhotsk in the north to the East China Sea and Taiwan in the south...

ese import dumping
Dumping (pricing policy)
In economics, "dumping" is any kind of predatory pricing, especially in the context of international trade. It occurs when manufacturers export a product to another country at a price either below the price charged in its home market, or in quantities that cannot be explained through normal market...

 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
Texas Instruments
Texas Instruments Inc. , widely known as TI, is an American company based in Dallas, Texas, United States, which develops and commercializes semiconductor and computer technology...

 in 1998 and Toshiba
Toshiba
is a multinational electronics and electrical equipment corporation headquartered in Tokyo, Japan. It is a diversified manufacturer and marketer of electrical products, spanning information & communications equipment and systems, Internet-based solutions and services, electronic components and...

 in 2001. These acquisitions gave Micron an international presence with production facilities in Italy
Italy
Italy , officially the Italian Republic languages]] under the European Charter for Regional or Minority Languages. In each of these, Italy's official name is as follows:;;;;;;;;), is a unitary parliamentary republic in South-Central Europe. To the north it borders France, Switzerland, Austria and...

, Singapore
Singapore
Singapore , officially the Republic of Singapore, is a Southeast Asian city-state off the southern tip of the Malay Peninsula, north of the equator. An island country made up of 63 islands, it is separated from Malaysia by the Straits of Johor to its north and from Indonesia's Riau Islands by the...

, and Japan
Japan
Japan is an island nation in East Asia. Located in the Pacific Ocean, it lies to the east of the Sea of Japan, China, North Korea, South Korea and Russia, stretching from the Sea of Okhotsk in the north to the East China Sea and Taiwan in the south...

. Today Micron is the only DRAM manufacturer in the United States
United States
The United States of America is a federal constitutional republic comprising fifty states and a federal district...

. In 1994, founder Joe Parkinson retired as CEO
Chief executive officer
A chief executive officer , managing director , Executive Director for non-profit organizations, or chief executive is the highest-ranking corporate officer or administrator in charge of total management of an organization...

 and the current CEO Steve Appleton
Steve Appleton
Steve Appleton is the CEO of Micron Technology, based in Boise, Idaho.Born and raised in California, Appleton attended Boise State University for college, where he was on the tennis team....

 took over as Chairman, President
President
A president is a leader of an organization, company, trade union, university, or country.Etymologically, a president is one who presides, who sits in leadership...

, and CEO.

In the early 1990s the company formed Micron Computers to manufacture PCs
Personal computer
A personal computer is any general-purpose computer whose size, capabilities, and original sales price make it useful for individuals, and which is intended to be operated directly by an end-user with no intervening computer operator...

. The subsidiary was based in nearby Nampa, Idaho
Nampa, Idaho
Nampa is the largest and the fastest growing city in Canyon County, Idaho, USA. The population of Nampa was 81,557 at the 2010 census. Nampa is located about west of Boise along Interstate 84, and six miles west of Meridian. Nampa is part of the Boise metropolitan area...

, and sold computers under the brand names Micron, and later, MicronPC & MicronPC.com. ZEOS International
Zeos
ZEOS [ZEOS International, Ltd.] is a PC manufacturer based in Minneapolis, Minnesota. Originally based in New Brighton, Minnesota and founded by Gregory E. Herrick, the company incorporated in Minnesota in 1981. Prior to manufacturing PCs, the company was called NPC Electronics. NPC was a contract...

, Micron Computer, and Micron Custom Manufacturing Services (MCMS) merged in 1996 to become Micron Electronics.

In 1998 Micron Technology acquired Rendition
Rendition (company)
Rendition was a maker of 3D graphics chipsets in the mid- to late-90's. They were known for products such as the Vérité 1000 and Vérité 2x00 and for being one of the first 3D chipset makers to directly work with Quake developer John Carmack to make a hardware-accelerated version of the game ....

, a maker of 3D graphics chips.

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
Joel Kocher
Joel Kocher is an American businessman.He was an employee of Dell for seven years, and eventually became Dell's #2 executive behind Michael Dell, President of Worldwide Marketing, Sales and Service. He developed Dell's initial commercial and government strategy and execution...

 purchased Internet firm HostPro (Web.com
Web.com
Web.com, Inc , formerly Interland , was a provider of websites and web services to small businesses and consumers, based in Atlanta, Georgia. Web.com's services included do-it-yourself and professional website design, web hosting, e-commerce, web marketing, and e-mail...

), merging it in to 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
MPC Corporation
MPC Corporation was a United States computer-hardware company based in Nampa, Idaho, USA, best known for providing desktops, notebooks, servers and services to customers in the federal, state and local government, education, small and medium business, and consumer markets...

 (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
Sherman Antitrust Act
The Sherman Antitrust Act requires the United States federal government to investigate and pursue trusts, companies, and organizations suspected of violating the Act. It was the first Federal statute to limit cartels and monopolies, and today still forms the basis for most antitrust litigation by...

, 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 including 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
CMOS
Complementary metal–oxide–semiconductor is a technology for constructing integrated circuits. CMOS technology is used in microprocessors, microcontrollers, static RAM, and other digital logic circuits...

 Image Sensor Division. Aptina Imaging was partially sold to a group including TPG
TPG
TPG may refer to:Companies* TPG Capital, private equity firm* TPG Telecom, telecommunications company* Geneva Public Transport , public transportation system operator in Geneva Canton, Switzerland...

 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
Qimonda
Qimonda AG, was a memory company split out of Infineon Technologies on 1 May 2006, to form at the time the second largest DRAM company worldwide, according to the industry research firm Gartner Dataquest...

's stake in Inotera
Inotera
Inotera Memories, Inc. , incorporated on January 2003, is a joint venture between Nanya Technology Corporation and Micron Technology, Inc....

 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
Numonyx
Numonyx is a semiconductor company making flash memories, which was founded on March 31, 2008 by Intel Corporation, STMicroelectronics and Francisco Partners. It was acquired by Micron Technology on February 9, 2010....

 for about $1.27 billion. Micron will issue 140 million shares to Numonyx investors: Intel Corporation
Intel Corporation
Intel Corporation is an American multinational semiconductor chip maker corporation headquartered in Santa Clara, California, United States and the world's largest semiconductor chip maker, based on revenue. It is the inventor of the x86 series of microprocessors, the processors found in most...

, STMicroelectronics
STMicroelectronics
STMicroelectronics is an Italian-French electronics and semiconductor manufacturer headquartered in Geneva, Switzerland.While STMicroelectronics corporate headquarters and the headquarters for EMEA region are based in Geneva, the holding company, STMicroelectronics N.V. is registered in Amsterdam,...

 and Francisco Partners.

Products


Micron makes DRAM Memory components and modules including SDRAM
SDRAM
Synchronous dynamic random access memory is dynamic random access memory that is synchronized with the system bus. Classic DRAM has an asynchronous interface, which means that it responds as quickly as possible to changes in control inputs...

, DDR SDRAM
DDR SDRAM
Double data rate synchronous dynamic random access memory is a class of memory integrated circuits used in computers. DDR SDRAM has been superseded by DDR2 SDRAM and DDR3 SDRAM, neither of which are either forward or backward compatible with DDR SDRAM, meaning that DDR2 or DDR3 memory modules...

, DDR2 SDRAM
DDR2 SDRAM
DDR2 SDRAM is a double data rate synchronous dynamic random-access memory interface. It supersedes the original DDR SDRAM specification and has itself been superseded by DDR3 SDRAM...

, DDR3 SDRAM
DDR3 SDRAM
In computing, DDR3 SDRAM, an abbreviation for double data rate type three synchronous dynamic random access memory, is a modern kind of dynamic random access memory with a high bandwidth interface. It is one of several variants of DRAM and associated interface techniques used since the early 1970s...

, LPDRAM, RLDRAM
RLDRAM
Reduced-latency Dynamic random access memory ' is a type of random access memory developed by Infineon Technologies AG in 1999. Infineon and Micron Technology, Inc. later agreed to jointly develop the device to guarantee a second source...

, PSRAM, and multi-chip packages. It also makes NAND Flash memory
Flash memory
Flash memory is a non-volatile computer storage chip that can be electrically erased and reprogrammed. It was developed from EEPROM and must be erased in fairly large blocks before these can be rewritten with new data...

, High Speed NAND, eMMC, eUSB, Serial NAND, and SSDs
Solid-state drive
A solid-state drive , sometimes called a solid-state disk or electronic disk, is a data storage device that uses solid-state memory to store persistent data with the intention of providing access in the same manner of a traditional block i/o hard disk drive...

.

In late 2009, the company was the first to announce a solid-state drive
Solid-state drive
A solid-state drive , sometimes called a solid-state disk or electronic disk, is a data storage device that uses solid-state memory to store persistent data with the intention of providing access in the same manner of a traditional block i/o hard disk drive...

 using a 6 Gbit/s SATA interface.

Competition


Today, Micron's primary competitors include Samsung
Samsung
The Samsung Group is a South Korean multinational conglomerate corporation headquartered in Samsung Town, Seoul, South Korea...

, Hynix
Hynix
Hynix Semiconductor Inc. chips and flash memory chips. Founded in 1983, Hynix is the world's second-largest memory chipmaker, the largest being Samsung Electronics. Formerly known as Hyundai Electronics, the company has manufacturing sites in Korea, the U.S., China and Taiwan...

, Elpida
Elpida Memory
is a corporation established in 1999 that develops, designs, manufactures and sells dynamic random-access memory products. It is also a semiconductor foundry. With headquarters in Yaesu, Chūō, Tokyo, Japan, it was formed under the name NEC Hitachi Memory in 1999 by the merger of the Hitachi, Ltd....

, Toshiba and SanDisk
SanDisk
SanDisk Corporation is an American multinational corporation that designs, develops and manufactures data storage solutions in a range of form factors using the flash memory, controller and firmware technologies. It was founded in 1988 by Dr. Eli Harari and Sanjay Mehrotra, non-volatile memory...

.

External links