DRAM chipmaker Elpida Memory has signed a five-year service management agreement with Applied Materials. Elpida will use Applied's service solutions to reduce cost-of-ownership and improve efficiency at its semiconductor fabs. Applied's engineers will work at Elpida’s fabs using the latest diagnostic and monitoring techniques to provide preventive and corrective maintenance. "We are pleased to be working more closely with the Applied Materials’ service organization to drive down the cost of fab operations," Jiro Yamamoto, Elpida officer and Hiroshima plant manager, said in a statement. "This is a significant contract for our services group," Manfred Kerschbaum, senior vice president and general manager of Applied Global Services, said in a statement, "and ... it adds to the growing momentum of our service business, especially in Asia."