Boeing (BA) and Micron Technology (MU) have announced a strategic partnership to create a new generation of advanced memory chips for aerospace applications. The two companies will leverage their respective expertise in aviation and semiconductor technology to design and manufacture custom-made memory solutions that can withstand the harsh environments of space and high-altitude flight.
The partnership comes at a critical time for both Boeing and Micron, as they face increasing competition and challenges in their core markets. Boeing has been struggling to recover from the grounding of its 737 MAX jets and the impact of the Covid-19 pandemic on air travel demand. Micron has been hit by a global chip shortage and a ban on selling its products to China, its largest customer.
By collaborating on this new project, Boeing and Micron hope to gain an edge over their rivals and tap into the growing demand for high-performance memory chips in the aerospace sector. According to a recent report by Market Research Future, the global aerospace memory market is expected to reach $7.5 billion by 2026, growing at a compound annual growth rate of 12.5%1.
The new memory chips will be based on Micron’s 3D XPoint technology, which offers faster speeds, lower latency, and higher endurance than traditional NAND flash memory. The chips will also feature enhanced radiation protection, thermal management, and power efficiency, making them ideal for applications such as satellite communications, navigation systems, flight data recorders, and cockpit displays.
Boeing and Micron plan to launch their first joint product by the end of 2023, which will be a 128-gigabyte 3D XPoint chip designed for Boeing’s Starliner spacecraft. The Starliner is a reusable crew capsule that will transport astronauts to and from the International Space Station as part of NASA’s Commercial Crew Program2. The chip will enable faster data processing and storage for the Starliner’s onboard computers and sensors.
The partnership between Boeing and Micron is expected to create significant synergies and benefits for both companies, as well as for their customers and shareholders. Boeing will be able to access Micron’s cutting-edge memory technology and expertise, while Micron will be able to diversify its revenue streams and expand its presence in the aerospace market. The two companies will also share the costs and risks of developing and manufacturing the new memory chips.
Boeing’s CEO David Calhoun said in a press release: “We are excited to partner with Micron Technology, a world leader in memory innovation, to create a new ace in the aerospace industry. This partnership will enable us to deliver faster, smarter, and more reliable memory solutions for our customers, while also enhancing our competitive position and long-term growth prospects.”
Micron’s CEO Sanjay Mehrotra said in a press release: “We are thrilled to join forces with Boeing, a pioneer in aviation and aerospace, to develop a new generation of memory chips that can meet the extreme demands of space and high-altitude flight. This partnership will showcase the power and potential of our 3D XPoint technology, while also opening up new opportunities and markets for our products.”