An unusual move by one of the world's leading memory makers to secure its immediate economic future could have the knock-on effect of threatening Samsung's industry domination.

Japanese firm Elpida is talking with several smaller chip makers in a bid to benefit from the economies of scale of working together, after its stock-market valuation began to slide.

Prospects bright

It hopes to work with Taiwanese companies Powerchip Semiconductor, ProMOS Technologies and Rexchip electronics. As Elpida already has links with Rexchip and Powerchip, the chances of success seem good.

Surprisingly, because of the Taiwanese angle, the government there may even give the new venture financial assistance as part of a package to help struggling DRAM makers in the island state.

Strange times

Should the plans pan out as Elpida hopes, it will end up with 30 per cent of the global DRAM market, which matches Samsung's share and should make for interesting times in one of the most competitive areas of high-tech business.