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Micron 1 decks Rambus, Micron 2 chins Taiwanese government

Talk about kicking someone when they're down

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Micron Electronics, the US PC manufacturer, has spurned Rambus-ready chipset by Intel in favour of VIA Technologies, as well as hitting back at the Taiwanese government over dumping allegations. The vendor will use VIA's VT82C694X chipset in its next generation computer platform, saving between $200 and $300 on the price of systems, according to PC World News. Micron will still use Pentium III chips, but the chipset will come from Taiwanese VIA, thus Micron has decided against using the upcoming Intel i820 chipset with Rambus DRAM memory. Micron said the high cost of RDRAM did not yet equal its performance gains. Meanwhile its associate company Micron Technology (the memory maker) also hit back at allegations from Taiwan that it dumped DRAM product on the island and hurt its economy. The company denied any memory dumping, saying the saga was a case of tit-for-tat over Micron complaining about other vendors' dumping. It went on to accuse the Taiwanese government of sloppily following procedures. And added it would not take such action lying down. A remark which might strike some as unfortunate, given the devastation caused in Taiwan by yesterday's earthquake. "There is no basis for this antidumping case," said Steve Appleton, Micron chairman, CEO and president. "Micron is acknowledged to be the lowest cost DRAM producer in the world. Yet Micron is charged with a much higher margin than any other US producer. "This is clearly a case of retaliation against Micron for filing the US antidumping case against Taiwanese DRAM manufacturers." Appleton said the duties being levied by the Taiwanese government were based on speculation. "Furthermore, these actions are not in compliance with worldwide standards regarding antidumping procedures as outlined by the World Trade Organisation," he said. "We intend to contest this action both with the government of Taiwan and with the WTO." Taiwan has more DRAM manufacturers than in the rest of the world combined, according to Appleton, although it only contributes between five and 12 per cent of the world's DRAM. "No impartial proceeding would have found Micron to be dumping product in a market that has been so aggressive in adding capacity," he argued. According to Micron Technology, the vendor has yet to receive official notification of the dumping allegations, although Taiwanese officials have reportedly already been blabbing to the Taiwanese press. ®

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