Samsung Semiconductor Corp expects to begin mass producing 128Mbit DRAM memory next quarter, which it says should begin showing up in high-end workstation and server products by the end of the year, mostly as 256Mbit modules configured with two chips. Samsung, which had originally planned to move from manufacturing 64Mbit parts straight to 256Mbit memory says vendors’ desire to move to higher density architectures before 256Mbit technology becomes available prompted its decision, especially after the aggressive implementation schedule Intel Corp has defined for its PC100MHz memory attachment specification. Samsung says pricing has not yet been set but its 128Mbit parts will cost between three and four times the cost of 64Mbit chips, roughly the same price curve as other DRAM manufacturers. Samsung expects there to continue to be a glut of conventional 16Mbit and 64Mbit DRAM in the near term with Taiwanese companies and some US suppliers such as Micron Electronics ramping production of these parts while most other companies are cutting back production. Samsung says Taiwanese firms, other Korean companies and Siemens AG supply the cheapest memory. Availability of PC100-compliant memory is currently balanced between supply and demand, Samsung believes, but expects there to be a shortage of these parts going into the third and fourth quarters as Intel pushes PC100 chipsets such as its GX graphics products. By the end of the year 75% of Intel’s chipsets are expected to support PC100.
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