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DRAM 64Mb slips under $3

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DRAM memory prices continued to freefall in the first week of 2001, slipping under $3 per chip.

Prices of 64Mb PC-100 SDRAMs and 64Mb PC-133 type SDRAMs have fallen as low as $2.90 and $3.07 per chip, down by 2.68 per cent and 3.97 per cent respectively against figures at the end of 2000, AsiaBizTech reported, quoting Korea's Maeil Business Newspaper.

The value of 128 SDRAMs has also dropped in recent days - PC-100 and PC-133 chips fell by around 5.4 per cent to an average of $6.10 and $6.47.

Meanwhile, recovery in the sector will hinge on the continuing saga of falling US PC demand. Analysts and chipmakers do not expect the DRAM market to rebound until the second half of this year. It is hoped the Federal Reserve's interest rate cut will boost PC sales, and therefore DRAM spot prices, in six to nine months' time.

An upturn will also depend on demand for Microsoft's latest memory guzzling operating systems and Intel's speedier chips. "Growth is going to depend on both software and hardware upgrades," said Liu Chitung, head of regional technology research at UBS Warburg in Taipei, Dow Jones Newswires reports.

"If the upgrades to the Pentium 4 and Windows Millennium Edition are weaker than expected, then it'll have a negative impact on DRAM prices."

Chipmakers are expected to slightly offset falling prices against cheaper production costs as they hasten towards the adoption of 0.15 micron technology. ®

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