13th > August > 1998 Archive

The Register breaking news

Memory Corp turns corner

The Memory Corporation has issued a statement saying that it expects to post an operating profit for the first time in three years. Memory Corp has now risen from the depths of financial red ink to report an expected operating profit in the second half of this year, after reporting gross profits in Q1 and Q2. Last year the company reported losses of £3.31 million with pre-tax losses standing at £1.2 million. Datrontech owns 49 per cent of Memory Corp and embarked on a joint venture with the company, which culminated in a new company called DTEC. According to John Byrne, joint managing director at Vanguard Microelectronics, this was a major filip for Memory which has emerged from a financial pounding on the AIM which saw its share price plummet from 555p three years ago to 26p earlier this year. “It’s turned a corner,” said Byrne, “but not as a result of standard memory products. Its strategy is good and the deal with Datrontech has been a good marriage.” Datrontech got involved with Memory Corp at a time when it needed to boost confidence among its shareholders. The result was that Datrontech’s share price has grown and Memory Corp has started to see some financial light. Memory Corp bought Memory Plus and a Hong Kong sourcing company, both of which have now been drafted into the overall Datrontech fold. The Hong Kong company, to be called DTEC Asia has, according to DTEC managing director Andrew Mackenzie, “put us two days ahead of the market because we don’t have to rely on other companies to feed us the information.” Mackenzie added that the current upturn in the DRAM market and the fact that Memory and DTEC can draw on the overall Datrontech distribution model, “has undoubtedly helped both companies.” While the memory market has become accustomed to live in fear of short-term false growth, both Byrne at Vanguard and Mackenzie believe the market is really on the right road now, due largely to Korean restructures and manufacturers such as TI dropping out of the market.
The Register breaking news

Mindrollers beware, minkies flying out of our bitt

Just say no, Intel. Some strange but true facts emerge about Mendocino. It's the preferred drug of choice in the film Spinal Tap, described there as Mendocino Rocket Fuel. Worse (or better?) than that, the town of Mendocino is where the late lamented Lucille Ball was born...
The Register breaking news

CDG adds fuel to wireless standards war

Following-on from Qualcomm's decision to withdraw co-operation on W-CDMA licensing last week, the CDMA Development Group (CDG) has fanned the flames by submitting a policy for world-wide wireless spectrum allocation to the US delegation to the International Telecommunications Union (ITU). Qualcomm's beef is largely with the European wireless companies who dominate ETSI (European Telecommunications Standards Institute), and like the CDG it is concerned that it should be able to influence global standards-setting in favour of its own CDMA technology. W-CDMA is a component of the UMTS standard agreed by at ETSI earlier this year, but the Europeans have made it abundantly clear that they're not writing blank cheques for it, and the feting of Japan's NTT DoCoMo and its W-CDMA technology at CeBIT in March was in that sense highly significant. The CDG's intervention is also intended to increase cdmaOne's muscle in negotiations, but does so by leveraging the tensions between the US and European approaches to telecoms standards. Its policy paper says that "market forces, not government mandates," should determine "the most appropriate access technology." European policy is of course defined, if not actually dictated, by government mandate, which is where UMTS came from. The ITU meanwhile will shortly be defining global third generations standards for IMT-2000, and while UMTS will be proposed for this, it seems clear that the CDG is going to fight it hard, and that sparks will fly. (NB - it has been drawn to our attention that studies conducted by several major wireless companies have found no evidence that sparks do in fact fly. "Our phones are perfectly safe," said a spokesman.)