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A year ago today: Those crazy Koreans

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Just when Korea's electronics big three have been exercising themselves on how to deal with the difficulties caused by being in the DRAM market, Korea's number 22 company, Dongbu Group, proposes to spend $2 billion on a DRAM plant. In the long run, of course, we're all going to need memory, so there's money to be made out of having expertise in building it, but if you're in construction, steel, chemicals and want to get into the IT business, right now is surely not the time to choose DRAM as the first phase. And the Korean economy itself is currently in an - um - interesting state. Dongbu says it's getting the technology to produce 64 and 256 megabit DRAMs from IBM, which is also going to buy products and help it develop the next generations of technology. Production starts in 1999, and we're not sure whether Dongbu knows more about the DRAM market than we do, whether IBM knows more about the Korean economy than we do, or both. ®

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