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(Nikkei BP Group)

(No.1 High-Tech News Site in Japanese)

  • U.S. PC Makers Show Interest in NEC’s High-Speed DRAMs
  • January 29, 1999 (TOKYO) — NEC Corp. denied a report that it is in talks with Intel Corp. for capital to be injected into its high-speed DRAM microchip production facilities, however NEC officials did not deny that the Tokyo-based company is engaging in negotiations with U.S. PC makers.
    An article in the Jan. 25 issue of the Nikkan Kogyo Shimbun said that NEC started negotiating with Intel and several leading U.S. PC makers to inject capital into its production facilities for the next-generation, high-speed DRAMs, or Direct Rambus DRAM chips.

    NEC’s public relations office, however, denied the validity of the report, saying that it has not negotiated with Intel nor has it even been sounded out by that company. But as for negotiations with PC makers, the office said it would not deny the report categorically.

    In 1998, Intel agreed to invest US$500 million in U.S.-based Micron Technology Inc., and on Jan. 20 it decided to invest US$100 million in Samsung Electronics Co., Ltd. to secure stable supplies of Direct Rambus DRAM chips.

    Intel aims to support microchip makers with production technologies so that they can produce stable supplies of such DRAM microchips.

    Prices of DRAM chips are stable thanks to production cutbacks and plant shutdowns since last year.

    The market supply conditions will stabilize this year and the prices are not likely to drop further, according to some industry sources and market research companies.

    However, such a situation might not be advantageous for Intel, which intends to replace PC main memories with Direct Rambus DRAM microchips or for PC makers seeking less-expensive memory chips.

    An official at NEC’s memory microchip business unit noted that PC makers are offering capital investments in NEC, under the expectation that they can receive stable supplies of Direct Rambus DRAM chips. However, the company has no intention to accept those offers, the official said.

    Related stories:
    Intel to Invest US$100M in Samsung Electronics
    DRAM Output in 1999 to Rise 54.5 Pct.; Micron to Lead in 64Mb Chips
    NEC Posts April-Sept. Consolidated Net Loss of 19.7B Yen

    (Nikkei Electronics, Nikkei Microdevices)

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