Idaho firm buys Folsom chipmaker Numonyx for $1.27 billion

Numonyx Holdings, the international computer chip company that makes its North American headquarters in Folsom, was sold Tuesday.

The sale raises questions about the future of the Folsom operations.

The Swiss company, which employs 450 workers in Folsom, is being sold to semiconductor maker Micron Technology Inc. of Boise, Idaho, for $1.27 billion in stock, the two companies announced. Numonyx is a spinoff of Intel Corp.’s Folsom research campus.

Numonyx spokesman Mark Miller said it’s too soon to say whether employment levels in Folsom will be affected. But he added that Folsom’s expertise in chips for wireless and mobile devices is highly valued by Micron.

“Those people (in Folsom) have the skill set that made Numonyx interesting to Micron in the first place,” Miller said.

Jim McGregor, chief technology strategist with the In-Stat market research firm in Arizona, said Micron will surely attempt to consolidate some of Numonyx’s operations.

Consolidation “will probably start at the headquarters,” McGregor said.

“Micron’s already a player in this market,” he added.

Numonyx develops memory chips for cell phones, cars and other devices. It was formed when Intel and Switzerland’s STMicroelectronics merged their memory businesses in early 2008. The Folsom operation was housed at Intel’s Folsom campus until two months ago, when it moved into its own office on Iron Point Road.

The headquarters includes product research and development, testing labs and sales and marketing.

Numonyx fabricates its chips in Israel and Singapore.

Miller said there won’t be any changes for at least three to six months, the time it will take to complete the takeover.

“Acquiring Numonyx brings together two memory leaders and positions Micron to offer the most comprehensive, cost-competitive solutions in the industry,” Micron Chairman Steve Appleton said in a news release.

Micron President Brian Harrison said in a press release that the deal will be “good for Numonyx and good for Micron.”