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ComputerWire: IT Industry Intelligence

Taiwan's government declared yesterday that life had returned to normal on the island in the wake of last weekend 6.8 earthquake. However, IT industry observers are not so sure.

The government information office issued a statement yesterday saying that most companies in the country's high tech sector had reported no damage.

Infrastructure was virtually unaffected, while the stock and foreign exchange markets were operating normally, officials said.

However, Asian IT new service,Digitimes suggested that lost DRAM production because of the quake could be as much as 20% to 30% for a week and a half. This is at a time when many fabs are already running at 100% utilization.

Some companies were compensating by moving annual maintenance up to this week, Digitimes said, minimizing disruption as far as possible, and production is expected to return to 100% production within a week. In the meantime, spot prices have risen.

It is difficult to gauge how long the effect will be. On the one hand, the take-up of Windows XP dictates a larger amount of memory per system. On the other hand, while the PC market is showing signs of life, a serious recovery is not expected before the latter part of the third quarter at the earliest.

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