View all newsletters
Receive our newsletter - data, insights and analysis delivered to you
  1. Technology
October 11, 1995


By CBR Staff Writer

The explosive rise of Edinburgh-based Memory Corp Plc’s share price, which has taken its market capitalisation to ú150m in its first nine months, could be slowed by the a challenger in the chip repair market. Newcastle-based Syntaq Ltd entered the fray in April 1994 when it began manufacturing devices based on a patented address-skewing technique for defective dynamic memory chips. The technique involves attaching controllers to each SIMM which identify defective rows and columns in each memory chip and map them onto two spare chips. Each defective area is given a unique address to safeguard two defective areas being mapped onto the same section of the spare chip, which would cancel the error correction. Syntaq has one patent in the US, one in Europe and hopes for another US patent by the end of the year. Cameron McCall, chief executive of Memory Corp, believes its technology to be superior because both error detection and mapping are carried out using only one chip. Syntaq represents an absolute zero threat to our market share, their technology is inferior to ours, McCall said. But Syntaq argued that the Memory approach does not have the capacity to handle as many errors, so Syntaq can use more seriously flawed chips. Our technology can handle a much wider cross section of failed memory, David Armstrong, Syntaq’s founder said. Memory has just started manufacturing devices using its partial memory engine and reckons it will achieve gross margins of some 50% compared with Syntaq’s 20% margins, because its device is cheaper to manufacturer and uses less spare processors. Armstrong said Syntaq could equal if not better Memory’s margins. Syntaq buys defective chips from Hyundai Electronics Co and claims to have shipped and sold 20,000 16Mb SIMM boards for an average price of $400. Hyundai supplies around 50,000 chips a month to Syntaq and Syntaq plans for this figure to rise to 600,000 in nine months’ time. Early next year Hyundai also plans to use Syntaq error correction technology for processors to be installed in its own personal computers. Profits will be split equally between the two companies. Guildford, Surrey-based Simmtech Ltd has bought ú1.4m of Syntaq’s devices in the last nine months, Datrontech Ltd has also made substantial purchases. The battle between the two companies will hot up once Syntaq joins the Alternative Investment Market next summer. Both firms derive their techniques from the pioneering work of Sir Clive Sinclair’s Anamartic Ltd in exploiting a breakthrough of Ivor Catt.

Topics in this article :
Websites in our network
Select and enter your corporate email address Tech Monitor's research, insight and analysis examines the frontiers of digital transformation to help tech leaders navigate the future. Our Changelog newsletter delivers our best work to your inbox every week.
  • CIO
  • CTO
  • CISO
  • CSO
  • CFO
  • CDO
  • CEO
  • Architect Founder
  • MD
  • Director
  • Manager
  • Other
Visit our privacy policy for more information about our services, how New Statesman Media Group may use, process and share your personal data, including information on your rights in respect of your personal data and how you can unsubscribe from future marketing communications. Our services are intended for corporate subscribers and you warrant that the email address submitted is your corporate email address.