Micron Technology

Last updated
Micron Technology, Inc.
Public
Traded as NASDAQ:  MU
NASDAQ-100 Component
S&P 500 Component
Industry Semiconductors
FoundedOctober 5, 1978;40 years ago (1978-10-05)
Headquarters Boise, Idaho, U.S.
Area served
Worldwide
Key people
Sanjay Mehrotra
(President & CEO)
Gurtej Singh Sandhu
(Senior VP) [1]
Robert E. Switz
(Chairman of the Board)
David Zinsner
(CFO)
Products DRAM
Flash memory
SSDs
BrandsBallistix Gaming
Crucial
RevenueIncrease2.svg US$ 20.32 billion
(FY AUG 31 2017)
Increase2.svg US$ 5.87 billion
(FY AUG 31 2017)
Increase2.svg US$ 5.09 billion
(FY AUG 31 2017)
Total assets Increase2.svg US$ 35.34 billion
(FY AUG 31 2017)
Total equity Increase2.svg US$ 19.47 billion
(FY AUG 31 2017)
Number of employees
~34,100
(FY AUG 31 2017)
Website www.micron.com
www.crucial.com
www.ballistixgaming.com
Footnotes /references
[2]
DDR4 RDIMM featuring both Micron logo (far left) and Crucial logo (centre right). Two 8 GB DDR4-2133 ECC 1.2 V RDIMMs (straightened).jpg
DDR4 RDIMM featuring both Micron logo (far left) and Crucial logo (centre right).
Crucial-branded 525GB solid state drive. Crucial SSD MX300 525GB-8478.jpg
Crucial-branded 525GB solid state drive.
Lexar SDXC UHS-II memory card (front and back) manufactured while the company was owned by Micron. Lexar Professional 1000x 128GB SDXC UHS-II Card (tidied).jpg
Lexar SDXC UHS-II memory card (front and back) manufactured while the company was owned by Micron.
Crucial-branded SD memory cards from 2007. Crucial SD Cards 2007 1GB and 2GB (front).jpg
Crucial-branded SD memory cards from 2007.

Micron Technology, Inc. is an American producer of computer memory and computer data storage including dynamic random-access memory, flash memory, and USB flash drives. It is headquartered in Boise, Idaho. Its consumer products are marketed under the brands Crucial and Ballistix. Micron and Intel together created IM Flash Technologies, which produces NAND flash memory. It owned Lexar between 2006 [3] and 2017. [4]

Computer memory physical device used to store information for immediate use in a digital electronic device

In computing, memory refers to the computer hardware integrated circuits that store information for immediate use in a computer; it is synonymous with the term "primary storage". Computer memory operates at a high speed, for example random-access memory (RAM), as a distinction from storage that provides slow-to-access information but offers higher capacities. If needed, contents of the computer memory can be transferred to secondary storage; a very common way of doing this is through a memory management technique called "virtual memory". An archaic synonym for memory is store.

Computer data storage technology consisting of computer components and recording media used to retain digital data

Computer data storage, often called storage or memory, is a technology consisting of computer components and recording media that are used to retain digital data. It is a core function and fundamental component of computers.

Dynamic random-access memory random-access memory that stores each bit of data in a separate capacitor within an integrated circuit

Dynamic random-access memory (DRAM) is a type of random access semiconductor memory that stores each bit of data in a separate tiny capacitor within an integrated circuit. The capacitor can either be charged or discharged; these two states are taken to represent the two values of a bit, conventionally called 0 and 1. The electric charge on the capacitors slowly leaks off, so without intervention the data on the chip would soon be lost. To prevent this, DRAM requires an external memory refresh circuit which periodically rewrites the data in the capacitors, restoring them to their original charge. This refresh process is the defining characteristic of dynamic random-access memory, in contrast to static random-access memory (SRAM) which does not require data to be refreshed. Unlike flash memory, DRAM is volatile memory, since it loses its data quickly when power is removed. However, DRAM does exhibit limited data remanence.

Contents

History

1978–1999

Micron was founded in Boise, Idaho, in 1978 [5] by Ward Parkinson, Joe Parkinson, Dennis Wilson, and Doug Pitman as a semiconductor design consulting company. [6] 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, the company moved from consulting to manufacturing with the completion of its first wafer fabrication unit ("Fab 1"), producing 64K DRAM chips.

J. R. Simplot American businessman

John RichardSimplot was an American entrepreneur and businessman best known as the founder of the J. R. Simplot Company, a Boise, Idaho based agricultural supplier specializing in potato products. In 2007, he was estimated to be the 89th-richest person in the United States, at $3.6 billion. At the time of his death at age 99 in May 2008, he was the oldest billionaire on the Forbes 400.

Potato plant species producing the tuber used as a staple food

The potato is a starchy, tuberous crop from the perennial nightshade Solanum tuberosum, native to the Americas. In many contexts, potato refers to the edible tuber, but it can also refer to the plant itself. Common or slang terms include tater, tattie, and spud.

In the microelectronics industry, a semiconductor fabrication plant is a factory where devices such as integrated circuits are manufactured.

In 1994, founder Joe Parkinson retired as CEO and Steve Appleton took over as Chairman, President, and CEO. [5]

Chief executive officer Highest-ranking corporate officer or administrator

The chief executive officer (CEO) or just chief executive (CE), is the most senior corporate, executive, or administrative officer in charge of managing an organization – especially an independent legal entity such as a company or nonprofit institution. CEOs lead a range of organizations, including public and private corporations, non-profit organizations and even some government organizations. The CEO of a corporation or company typically reports to the board of directors and is charged with maximizing the value of the entity, which may include maximizing the share price, market share, revenues or another element. In the non-profit and government sector, CEOs typically aim at achieving outcomes related to the organization's mission, such as reducing poverty, increasing literacy, etc.

Steven R. Appleton was the CEO of Micron Technology, based in Boise, Idaho.

The President is a leader of an organization, company, community, club, trade union, university or other group. The relationship between the president and the Chief Executive Officer varies, depending on the structure of the specific organization. In a similar vein to the Chief Operating Officer, the title of corporate President as a separate position is also loosely defined; the President is usually the legally recognized highest rank of corporate officer, ranking above the various Vice Presidents, but on its own generally considered subordinate, in practice, to the CEO. The powers of the president vary widely across organizations and such powers come from specific authorization in the bylaws like Robert's Rules of Order.

A 1996 3-way merger among ZEOS International, Micron Computer, and Micron Custom Manufacturing Services (MCMS) increased the size and scope of the company; [5] this was followed rapidly with the 1997 acquisition of NetFrame Systems, in a bid to enter the mid-range server industry. [7]

ZEOS was 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 assembly business best known for developing a transmitter device called Radio Realty. Marketed primarily to real estate brokers, this product enabled prospective home buyers to tune in and listen to prerecorded information about a property listing while parked in front of the dwelling. Radio Realty was divested in the early 1980s as NPC started developing, manufacturing, and selling PCs under the ZEOS name. The company went public in mid-1985 by self-underwriting, and officially changed its name from NPC Electronics to ZEOS International.

2000–present

In 2000, Gurtej Singh Sandhu and Trung T. Doan at Micron initiated the development of atomic layer deposition high-k films for DRAM memory devices. This helped drive cost-effective implementation of semiconductor memory, starting with 90-nm node DRAM. [8] [9] Pitch double-patterning was also pioneered by Gurtej Singh Sandhu at Micron during the 2000s, leading to the development of 30-nm class NAND flash memory, and it has since been widely adopted by NAND flash and RAM memory manufacturers worldwide. [8] [10]

Gurtej Sandhu is an Indian inventor in the fields of thin film processes and materials, VLSI and semiconductor device fabrication. He is recognized for being the all-time seventh most prolific inventor as measured by number of U.S. utility patents. Gurtej has 1,315 U.S. utility patents as of February 5, 2019. Currently he is Senior Fellow and Director of Advanced Technology developments at Micron Technology, Inc. The publication Kiplinger reports, "Sandhu developed a method of coating microchips with titanium without exposing the metal to oxygen, which would ruin the chips. Initially, he didn't think his idea was a big deal, but now most memory-chip makers use the process." The publication also states that Gurtej earned an electrical engineering degree at the Indian Institute of Technology Delhi and a physics PhD at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.

Atomic layer deposition

Atomic layer deposition (ALD) is a thin-film deposition technique based on the sequential use of a gas phase chemical process; it is a subclass of chemical vapour deposition. The majority of ALD reactions use two chemicals called precursors. These precursors react with the surface of a material one at a time in a sequential, self-limiting, manner. Through the repeated exposure to separate precursors, a thin film is slowly deposited. ALD is a key process in the fabrication of semiconductor devices, and part of the set of tools available for the synthesis of nanomaterials.

A thin film is a layer of material ranging from fractions of a nanometer (monolayer) to several micrometers in thickness. The controlled synthesis of materials as thin films is a fundamental step in many applications. A familiar example is the household mirror, which typically has a thin metal coating on the back of a sheet of glass to form a reflective interface. The process of silvering was once commonly used to produce mirrors, while more recently the metal layer is deposited using techniques such as sputtering. Advances in thin film deposition techniques during the 20th century have enabled a wide range of technological breakthroughs in areas such as magnetic recording media, electronic semiconductor devices, LEDs, optical coatings, hard coatings on cutting tools, and for both energy generation and storage. It is also being applied to pharmaceuticals, via thin-film drug delivery. A stack of thin films is called a multilayer.

Micron and Intel created a joint venture in 2005, based in IM Flash Technologies in Lehi, Utah. [11] The two companies formed another joint venture in 2011, IM Flash Singapore, in Singapore. [12] In 2012, Micron became sole owner of this second joint venture. [13]

Lehi, Utah City in Utah, United States

Lehi is a city in Utah County, Utah, United States. It is named after Lehi, a prophet in the Book of Mormon. The population was 47,407 at the 2010 census, up from 19,028 in 2000. The center of population of Utah is located in Lehi.

IM Flash Singapore

IM Flash Singapore LLP is a semiconductor company founded in February 2007, by Micron Technology and Intel Corporation. The joint-venture was set up to produce NAND Flash memory for the 2 owners, and was the second site set up, after the success of IM Flash Technologies. It was located in Senoko, Singapore.

In 2006, Micron acquired Lexar, an American manufacturer of digital media products. [3]

The company again changed leadership in June 2007 with COO Mark Durcan becoming President. [14]

In 2008, Micron spun off Aptina Imaging, which was acquired by ON Semiconductor in 2014. Micron retained a stake in the spinoff. [15] The core company suffered setbacks, however, requiring layoffs of 15 percent of its workforce in October 2008, [16] [17] during which period the company also announced the purchase of Qimonda's stake in Inotera technologies for $400 million. [18] The trend of layoffs and acquisitions continued in 2009 with the termination of an additional 2,000 employees, [19] [20] and the acquisition of the FLCOS microdisplay company Displaytech. [21] Micron agreed to buy flash-chip maker Numonyx for $1.27 billion in stock in February 2010. [22]

On February 3, 2012, the CEO, Steve Appleton, died in a small Lancair plane crash in Boise, Idaho. [23] [24] [25] Mark Durcan replaced Appleton as the CEO shortly thereafter, [26] eliminating his former title of President. [27]

In the 2012–2014 period, Micron again went through an acquisition-layoff cycle, becoming the majority shareholder of Inotera Memories, purchasing Elpida Memory and Powerchip, [28] while announcing plans to lay off approximately 3,000 workers. [29] [30]

In December 2016, Micron finished acquiring the remaining 67% of Inotera’s stake and made Inotera a 100% subsidiary of Micron in Taiwan. [31]

In April 2017, Micron announced Sanjay Mehrotra as the new President and CEO to replace Mark Durcan. [32] [33]

In June 2017, Micron announced it was discontinuing the Lexar retail removable media storage business and putting some or all it up for sale. [34] In August of that year the Lexar brand was acquired by Longsys, a flash memory company based in Shenzhen, China. [4]

In May 2018, Micron Technology and Intel launched QLC NAND memory to increase storage density. [35] The company ranked 150th on the Fortune 500 list of largest United States corporations by revenue. [36]

In February 2019, the first microSD card with a storage capacity of 1 terabyte (TB) was announced by Micron. [37]

See also

Related Research Articles

Flash memory electronic non-volatile computer storage device

Flash memory is an electronic (solid-state) non-volatile computer storage medium that can be electrically erased and reprogrammed.

SanDisk an American global company that designs, develops and manufactures flash memory storage devices and software

SanDisk founded in 1988 is today a brand of Western Digital (WD) for flash memory products, including memory cards and readers, USB flash drives, and solid state drives. It was acquired by WD in 2016.

Lexar business enterprise

Lexar is a brand of flash memory products manufactured by the Chinese company Longsys.

The 32 nanometer (32 nm) node is the step following the 45 nanometer process in CMOS semiconductor device fabrication. "32 nanometer" refers to the average half-pitch of a memory cell at this technology level. Toshiba produced commercial 32 Gb NAND flash memory chips with the 32 nm process in 2009. Intel and AMD produced commercial microchips using the 32 nanometer process in the early 2010s. IBM and the Common Platform also developed a 32 nm high-κ metal gate process. Intel began selling its first 32 nm processors using the Westmere architecture on 7 January 2010.

Transistor count the number of transistors in a device

The transistor count is the number of transistors on an integrated circuit (IC). Transistor count is the most common measure of IC complexity, although there are caveats. For instance, the majority of transistors are contained in the cache memories in modern microprocessors, which consist mostly of the same memory cell circuits replicated many times. The rate at which transistor counts have increased generally follows Moore's law, which observed that the transistor count doubles approximately every two years.

The 22 nanometer (22 nm) node is the process step following the 32 nm in CMOS semiconductor device fabrication. The typical half-pitch for a memory cell using the process is around 22 nm. It was first demonstrated by semiconductor companies for use in RAM memory in 2008. In 2010, Toshiba began shipping 24 nm flash memory chips, and Samsung Electronics began mass-producing 20 nm flash memory chips. The first consumer-level CPU deliveries using a 22 nm process started in April 2012.

Numonyx was 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.

IM Flash Technologies

IM Flash Technologies, LLC is the semiconductor company founded in January 2006, by Intel Corporation and Micron Technology, Inc. IM Flash produces 3D XPoint used in data centers and high end computers. It has a 300mm wafer fab in Lehi, UT, United States.

In electronics, a multi-level cell (MLC) is a memory element capable of storing more than a single bit of information, compared to a single-level cell (SLC) which can store only one bit per memory element.

A non-volatile dual in-line memory module (NVDIMM) is a type of random-access memory for computers. Non-volatile memory is memory that retains its contents even when electrical power is removed, for example from an unexpected power loss, system crash, or normal shutdown. "Dual in-line" identifies the memory as using the DIMM package. NVDIMMs improve application performance and system crash recovery time. They enhance solid-state drive (SSD) endurance and reliability.

Crossbar is a company based in Santa Clara, California. Crossbar develops a class of non-volatile resistive random-access memory (RRAM) technology. The company in 2013 announced its goal was a terabyte of storage on a single integrated circuit, compatible with standard CMOS semiconductor manufacturing processes.

D. Mark Durcan was the chief executive officer (CEO) at Micron Technology. Prior to being appointed Micron’s CEO in February 2012, he held a variety of positions including process integration engineer, process integration manager, process development manager, vice president of research and development, chief technical officer and president. Durcan has initially announced his decision to retire from Micron on February 2, 2012, while he was serving as President of Micron. On February 3, then-current CEO of Micron, Steve Appleton, died in a plane accident. On February 6 Durcan was named CEO and postponed his retirement. On February 2, 2017, Durcan announced his plan to retire.

Sanjay Mehrotra is the President and CEO of Micron Technology and co-founder of SanDisk. Mehrotra served as SanDisk President and Chief Executive Officer until it was purchased by Western Digital in 2016.

3D XPoint non-volatile memory technology

3D XPoint is a non-volatile memory (NVM) technology developed jointly by Intel and Micron Technology. It was announced in July 2015 and is available on the open market under brand names Optane (Intel) and subsequently QuantX (Micron) since April 2017. Bit storage is based on a change of bulk resistance, in conjunction with a stackable cross-gridded data access array. Initial prices are less than dynamic random-access memory (DRAM) but more than flash memory.

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