Samsung's $8 Billion Gamble On Upscale Chips

It leads the world in commodity DRAMS, but can it become a player in logic chips?

Lee Kun Hee, the reclusive billionaire running one of South Korea's biggest conglomerates, made a rare public appearance in Seoul on May 9. Escorted by a bevy of women in traditional hanbok dresses, the 56-year old chairman of the $84 billion Samsung group ambled into a Seoul hotel to announce that his Samsung Electronics Co. would sponsor the 1998 Olympic games. It was a proud moment for Lee, who has long sought an Olympic sponsorship as a sign that Samsung belongs to the world's corporate elite.

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