Memory Prices Seen Slumping Below Production Cost

Filed under: — Aviran Mordo

Memory chip prices are expected to slide 30 percent or more by mid-year to below the manufacturing cost as chip makers plough generous 2004 profits into new production lines, exacerbating a surplus of supplies.

But analysts expect prices to stabilize in the second half as production switches over to the next generation of dynamic random access memory (DRAM).

DRAM supply will outpace demand by 2 percent to 3 percent in 2005, said Jae H. Lee, analyst at Daiwa Institute of Research in Seoul.

“We project DRAM prices to weaken further and possibly hit bottom in the second quarter, before experiencing a short price rally in the third quarter,” he said.

Lee forecast benchmark prices would hit $2.60 in the second quarter, below the $3 price that typically marks break-even for chip makers.

That would leave chip makers such as Samsung Electronics Co. Ltd., Micron Technology Inc., Infineon Technologies AG and Hynix Semiconductor Inc. facing losses, though bigger, more efficient companies will suffer less.

The boom-and-bust DRAM business enjoyed a strong 2004, with the price of benchmark 256 megabit DDR (double data rate) DRAM hitting highs above $6 per unit in April before easing to an average of $4.52 in the fourth quarter and around $3.70 in recent days.

Lee said the industry was funelling remarkably strong cashflow generated in 2004 into new capacity

Source: Reuters

Google Appliance goes Mini

Filed under: — Aviran Mordo

Web search titan Google unveils Google Mini, a new search appliance designed for small and midsize businesses, and an upgrade to its existing Google Search Appliance for larger organizations.

Google Mini leverages the same technology as the larger appliance but is limited in search capacity to 50,000 documents. The hardware and software appliance is sold exclusively online, priced at $4,995, which is a fraction of the cost of the larger capacity appliance versions.

Google Mini
Google Mini (Source)

Companies of all sizes are having a harder time finding information on their internal intranets and external-facing Web sites than on the Web via search engines such as Google, said Matthew Glotzbach, business product manager at Google.

Google also introduced Version 4.2 of its Search Appliance, featuring support for more types of enterprise content. The new version adds native connection to enterprise databases, allowing the appliance to crawl content that lives in relational databases. This feature also lets the appliance conduct searches across structured and unstructured data, according to Glotzbach.

Furthermore, Google added an integration API which lets IT managers feed legacy system content into the Search Appliance.

Other features in Version 4.2 of the Search Appliance include support for x509 Client Certificates, security APIs for integrated into existing access control systems, and local language configuration.

Source: InfoWorld

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