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For Harris Semiconductor (Melbourne, Fla.), the sale will enable the chip operation to focus more resources on its core products segments, according to a Harris spokesman. Harris had announced a major restructuring of its chip business this past summer which included the elimination of 1,900 jobs and a de-emphasis of its logic products. Logic doesn't fit into our strategic focus in power, communications and the newly formed space/defense business,” the spokesman said.

SG73S2BTTD153J_Datasheet PDF

For Harris Semiconductor (Melbourne, Fla.), the sale will enable the chip operation to focus more resources on its core products segments, according to a Harris spokesman. Harris had announced a major restructuring of its chip business this past summer which included the elimination of 1,900 jobs and a de-emphasis of its logic products. Logic doesn't fit into our strategic focus in power, communications and the newly formed space/defense business,” the spokesman said.

We are disappointed that Samsung continues to spend capital irrationally, adding new capacity in the face of the very high debt-to-equity ratio they are carrying,” said Kip Bedard, the Micron vice president of corporate affairs.

Samsung is expanding the Austin fab after earlier cutting its capital investment nearly in half-from $1.6 billion in 1997 to about $900 million this year. And the expansion comes at the very time Samsung has been reducing DRAM production in Korea, closing fabs for a week every month since July.

SG73S2BTTD153J_Datasheet PDF

The growth plan also raised questions as to how the expansion is being financed. A spokesman for the Austin fab referred inquiries to company headquarters in Seoul, where executives could not be reached for comment.

The spokesman did say, however, that no money was coming from Intel Corp., which made a 10% investment in the $1.3 billion Austin fab in 1997 to help build the initial phase. Intel's stake in the plant will now be diluted, given the larger investment needed to complete the upgrade.

U.S. sources believe equipment suppliers may have helped Samsung resume building out the Austin plant by extending terms or through partial financing of tools, speculation that Samsung executives denied.

SG73S2BTTD153J_Datasheet PDF

Still, Samsung is installing stepper exposure tools from Netherlands- based ASM Lithography, which had earlier arranged financing and leases from European banks for a large equipment order placed by Hyundai Electronics Industries Co. Ltd.

In a broader context, Samsung's added capacity runs counter to the plans of many other DRAM producers, which are trimming output and closing memory chip plants. Siemens and Fujitsu, for example, are closing DRAM fabs in the United Kingdom, and Hitachi, Matsushita, and Mitsubishi have closed DRAM plants in the United States. Hitachi also sold its interest in Twinstar Semiconductor, a former joint venture with TI, which was then closed by Micron as part of its acquisition of TI's DRAM operations.

SG73S2BTTD153J_Datasheet PDF

YOKOSUKA, Japan — An NTT spin-off popularly known as DoCoMo is stirring optimism here.

NTT DoCoMo is pinning its future on wideband code-division multiple access (W-CDMA) technology to drive a standard for third-generation (3G), multimedia cellular handsets. The wireless-service operator buoyed an electronics industry swimming in red ink this week when it raked in more than $18 billion on its initial listing of shares on the Tokyo Stock Exchange. Thus, the company that made the cell phone a must-have item in frugal Japan could prove a formidable design arbiter of the next pervasive computing platform.

For its part, Hitachi will try to shake off the weight of its burdensome conglomerate structure. In its place, it will create 10 separate groups with independent management structures focused on areas such as semiconductors, consumer electronics and communications, said Tsugio Makimoto, corporate chief technologist at Hitachi Ltd.

You will see some new structures [at Hitachi] next year,” Makimoto said in an interview following a presentation. Movement becomes too slow when you are too big and you can't keep up with the speed of the industry.”

Makimoto's comments came in light of generally dismal predictions by Dataquest Inc., and a pronouncements by one analyst that Japan's best days are over. The Hitachi manager was, in his own way, even more bearish on the coming year than the analysts. I'm still not very optimistic about '99,” he said. Maybe we will see single-digit growth.”

Pointing to projections made last year that forecast 15 percent growth for 1998, which has seen sales fall almost 10 percent, analysts and executives said the industry is now changing so rapidly that it's impossible to predict the coming year. Jim Handy, principal memory analyst at Dataquest said he had projected a $20 billion DRAM market for this year, but he now believes that market will top out at $14 billion.

The psychological state of the DRAM market is like that of Hamlet,” quipped Makimoto. To stay or not to stay in the business. That's the question.” For its part, Hitachi will focus on innovative packaging such as its tape-carrier pack and 128-Mbit double density packs, he said. We are not leaving the DRAM business, but we will not be concentrating on standard products.”

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