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Intel stakes Micron for $500 million

Which means the Korean DRAM chaebols are toast, right?

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Intel has bought a $500 million stake in Micron Technology, the company which, after its takeover of TI's memory operations earlier this year, is the flagship of the US DRAM business. The Intel investment represents approximately 6 per cent of Micron's stock. According to Intel, the investment is part of the company's strategy "to support the development and supply of next generation memory products and to help drive PC industry growth by accelerating the development of Direct RDRAM," Rabus' high speed memory technology. The investment will also however help Micron out - the DRAM company claims that it will have no digestion problems in assimilating TI's meory operations, but with its old enemies from Korea facing serious financial difficulties, Micron has a golden opportunity to go onto the attack, provided it has the money to do so. As Intel says: "By providing additional financial resources, the investment by Intel should enhance Micron's competitive position in the DRAM industry." Quite. according to Micron president Steve Appleton the company will have Direct RDRAM products on the market by Q3 99. Significantly Intel president Craig Barrett says that the investment will ensure "an adequate supply of memory components, particularly RDRAM." Barrett's trips to Korea earlier this year were claimed by the various warring camps among the Korean chaebols as being a prelude to investment in Samsung or LG, but the truth may be that he was looking for an advantageous deal with a stable source of memory, and that after a look at seoul's finest, he's plumped for the US of A instead. ® Click for more stories

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