Micron hints at DRAM downturn

Micron chief executive says the company has cancelled expansion plans

Demand for DRAMs, the basic building blocks for memory used in PCs, could be drastically down in the coming months, according to leading manufacturer Micron Technology.

Steve Appleton, chief executive, president and chairman of Micron, one of the three biggest memory manufacturers, said Monday the company has cancelled expansion plans because it expects low demand. Micron is able to increase production by 45 percent year-on-year without adding capacity, by squeezing more bits onto a square inch of silicon.

Demand has been increasing by about 90 percent a year for the past few years, indicating that Micron expects demand to slow by at least half compared to last year.

The slowing of the US economy and world financial markets have led to a drastic slowdown in demand for high-tech equipment such as PCs and networking equipment. On Friday, networking equipment maker Cisco said it expects the economic downturn to affect sales and earnings into 2002, triggering a world-wide selloff of tech shares on Monday.

Chip manufacturers such as Hitachi have also been hit.

Appleton was addressing industry executives at Semico Summit 2001 in Scottsdale, Arizona.

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