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Qimonda - circa 2007

Qimonda AG (NYSE: QI) is a leading global memory supplier with a broad diversified DRAM product portfolio. The company generated net sales of €3.81 billion in its 2006 financial year and has approximately 13,000 employees worldwide. Qimonda has access to five 300mm manufacturing sites on three continents and operates six major R&D facilities. The company provides DRAM products for a wide variety of applications, including in the computing, infrastructure, graphics, mobile and consumer areas, using its power saving technologies and designs. Further information is available at

see also:- Qimonda - mentions on

editor's notes:- in April 2008 - Infineon officially announced that Qimonda is up for sale.

So it seems timely to extract the article I wrote 2 years ago when Qimonda was first announced. I haven't changed a word of the original text. See the sidebar on the right.

...Later:- in January 2009 - Qimonda was bust - and announced it had called in insolvency administrators for the company.

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The semiconductor memory business has wavered between under supply and over supply since the 1970s. In the 1980s the best analagy was what economists called the "hog cycle".
a guide to semiconductor memory boom-bust cycles
Siemens Semiconductors? Infineon Technologies? Qimonda?

the names change but the problems remain the same
Munich, Germany - March 31, 2006 - Infineon Technologies AG announced today more details of its makeover strategy.

The splitting out of its memory business group into a new company, called Qimonda, will be effective on May 1st. Qimonda, headquartered in Munich, will have the legal form of a German Aktiengesellschaft (AG) and will be the world's 4th largest DRAM company. The new company will initially be a wholly owned subsidiary of Infineon but may be spun off in an IPO later. ...Infineon profile, renamed storage companies

Editor's comments:-
there are two root tensions behind the long running business soap opera which predate the 1999 spin off of Siemens Semiconductors as Infineon, and the next episode as Qimonda.

First - the DRAM business has historically followed a pattern of boom to bust business cycles - which makes it more like gambling than a sensible form of business investment. The stakes required to stay in the game at each new cast of the DRAM technology dice are huge.

Second - Germany is not a good location to site the headquarters of a high tech world class chip company. The local EU currency market is slow/no growing. Labor costs are high. The best thing would have been for all assets to be taken out of Germany altogether and moved to Asia or the US. Failure to do this in the past has had more to do with top management comfort levels and arcane legal restrictions than best business practice.

..more storage news from March 2006.