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Taiwan's DRAM Plan Fails

Good riddance, say manufacturers

2 min read

Taiwan’s plan to restructure its dynamic RAM industry seems to have met its end—not with a bang but with a whimper. The plan was to consolidate the industry and acquire new technology under the banner of a new company, Taiwan Innovation Memory Co. (TIMC), created in March 2009. In mid-November, the country’s lawmakers rejected the cabinet’s request for the National Development Fund to invest NT $5 billion (about US $150 million) in TIMC—all but ending what had turned out to be a pretty unpopular project.

The plan had its origins in 2008’s disastrous downturn. Then, DRAM makers around the world found themselves in a financial bind following an orgy of overcapacity and plummeting prices. Manufacturers in Europe, Japan, Korea, and Taiwan turned to their governments for help, although it was too late for Germany’s Qimonda, which went under early last year.

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The Transistor at 75

The past, present, and future of the modern world’s most important invention

2 min read
A photo of a birthday cake with 75 written on it.
Lisa Sheehan

Seventy-five years is a long time. It’s so long that most of us don’t remember a time before the transistor, and long enough for many engineers to have devoted entire careers to its use and development. In honor of this most important of technological achievements, this issue’s package of articles explores the transistor’s historical journey and potential future.

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