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June 3, 1987


By CBR Staff Writer

That raises the scintillating question of how much longer IBM will stay out of the merchant semiconductor market: at present the company’s line, if pressed, would be that keeping all its chips to itself gives it a crucial competitive advantage over all its rivals, but the financial arguments are starting to militate against that view; IBM now actively markets its 3380 disk drives OEM, is looking for big OEM contracts on the 3480 tape drive, both nominally products that give it a competitive advantage, and in its present straitened financial state, once the company has been using parts like its 1M-bit memory chip in all its own products for a year or so, the balance of advantage must surely swing to making some extra cash by selling its surplus on the merchant market.

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