The Big Five Japanese chipmakers will cut back dramatically on production of 16Mbit Dram memory chips this year, as they increase output of 64Mbit devices tenfold. Ensuing price reductions could mean that smaller, faster PCs and media devices using the memory technology could appear up to 18 months earlier than expected.
According to the Japanese daily newspaper, 'Nihon Keizai Shimbun', NEC, Toshiba, Hitachi, Fujitsu and Mitsubishi will between them increase output of 64Mbit Drams from 700,000 to 7.5 million by the end of this year. These companies hold a combined market share of 40 per cent.
The price of 64Mbit Drams is expected to fall from 10 times to four times that of 16Mbit devices by the middle of this year. This could enable makers of PCs and network computers to bring a new generation of products to market as much as 18 months earlier than predicted.
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