Lack of demand from hardware manufacturers and an absence of applications are two factors holding memory manufacturers back from jumping straight from 64Mbit to 256Mbit DRAM memory chips, it has emerged.
Companies including Samsung, Hyundai, Texas Instruments and NEC will release 128Mbit parts first, and other manufacturers including LG Semiconductor are likely to follow suit.
Mark Leatham, European managing director of Kingston Technology, said: "We have not yet reached crossover to 64Mbit technology yet. Our anticipation is that will come on-stream in the second half of the year but we're not there yet."
He said customer demand was growing for 64Mbit DRAM, because of the requirements of applications software. "The bottom end of the market for 16Mbit units has become incredibly grubby and 64Mbit and synchronous memory is where the market is now. It's unlikely there would be a market for 256Mbit memory and so the jump to 128Mbit memory makes perfect sense. It's all down to application software and there isn't any software yet that's putting memory under that much pressure."
The demand for 64Mbit units is fuelled by dual in-line memory modules (DIMMs), said Leatham. These are likely to be fitted in machines that use Windows NT and high-end packages like Office 97.
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