Qimonda—a leading creative memory company
After the spin-off of the memory chip business of Infineon Technologies AG, Qimonda was launched on May 1, 2006 to form a global-leading creative memory company. The history of Qimonda AG, however, began long before its spin-off. The foundations date far back into the infancy of semiconductor development in Germany in the early 70s of last century. Right from the outset, Qimonda was one of the top 5 DRAM companies worldwide and the market leader in 300mm production with production sites on three continents. At the height of its success in 2006, Qimonda generated revenues of over 3.8bn euros.
Crisis in the DRAM industry
From 2007, the whole DRAM industry saw prices drop due to an oversupply of the market. This was aggravated by the financial market crisis in 2008, which shrank the demand for electronic products. The whole DRAM industry was thrown into recession.
In 2008, the economic situation of Qimonda AG and its subsidiaries deteriorated dramatically due to decreases in revenue and significant losses. A rescue attempt failed, so that Qimonda AG filed for insolvency on January 23, 2009.
Insolvency and exploitation of the IP portfolio
At the time of insolvency, the leading supplier of DRAM products employed around 12,000 personnel worldwide, including some 4,000 in Germany—most at its production site in Dresden, the center of research & development.
The District Court in Munich appointed Dr. Michael Jaffé as preliminary insolvency administrator. Dr. Jaffé is a specialist lawyer for insolvency law. He was subsequently confirmed as insolvency administrator when insolvency proceedings commenced on April 1, 2009. Dr. Jaffé was initially able to stabilize and continue operations. In April 2009, however, the company was forced to discontinue production.
Subsequent talks with potential investors on a worldwide scale in order to continue operations did not lead to a result.
Since then, Qimonda AG i.In. and its specialized US subsidiary, Qimonda Licensing LLC, have focused on marketing its IP portfolio. Having grown over many decades, it now comprises more than 4,500 patent families.Q