TEXAS INSTRUMENTS IS TAKING another big step away from the DRAM business with an agreement to sell its one-third share of Taiwanese memory-chip venture, TI-Acer. Acer, TI's partner, which is buying TI's share, already owned 49% of the operation, which reported pretax losses last year of $143 million. Losing TI is no loss for Acer, though. Under the decade-long venture, TI was the chip fab's sole customer, forcing TI-Acer to sell all its chips to the U.S. company at a discount. Acer is renaming the company Acer Semiconductor Manufacturing and will diversify into other products, such as logic chips.

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