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News that IBM is to move to 8 wafers from its present 5 ones in its chip manufacturing operations, starting with memory chips (CI No 937) mean that unless its yields go right down (and there is no reason why they should) the company will be able to triple output and substantially reduce its unit cost per chip: that means that not only will IBM be in a remarkably privileged position vis-a’-vis all its competitors for as long as the memory chip shortage lasts, but should have so many more chips than it needs internally that it can begin offering the surplus on the merchant market.

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