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Micron to build $7 bln plant in Japan to expand DRAM production – report

Micron Technology’s solid state drive for data center customers will be unveiled at a product launch event in San Francisco, USA on October 24, 2019. REUTERS / Stephen Nellis

TOKYO, Oct. 20 (Reuters) – US memory chip maker Micron Technology Inc (MU.O) will build a new factory at its Japanese manufacturing facility in Hiroshima for 800 billion yen ($ 7.0 billion), the Nikkan Kogyo newspaper reported on Wednesday.

The new facility will produce DRAM chips, which are widely used in data centers. Production is slated to begin in 2024, the report says, without naming sources.

Micron officials in Japan were not immediately available to comment.

The COVID-19 pandemic demand for staying at home for electronic devices is creating a shortage of non-memory chips that has forced some manufacturers such as automakers and smartphone makers to cut production. This has also reduced sales of DRAM memory chips, but some industry watchers expect demand to pick up again as data centers expand.

The report comes after chip giant Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Co. (TSMC) (2330.TW) announced plans last week to build a plant in Japan that media reports said could be partially paid for by the Japanese government.

Japan is looking to lure chipmakers into the country to ensure its companies have easy access to the semiconductor supplies necessary to keep its economy competitive.

Micron, which also makes slower but cheaper NAND memory chips for the data storage market, makes 300 millimeter DRAM semiconductors at its Hiroshima facility and operates a research and development facility there.

($ 1 = 114,5100 yen)

Reporting from Tokyo Newsroom; Editing by Rashmi Aich and Richard Pullin

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