Will Koreans Cash In Their Chips?

Producing a new DRAM chip requires billions the chaebol don't have. Some big players could exit

Big costs, big payoff. That's the dynamic of the memory chip business. Spend billions on new fabrication plants to make the next-generation dynamic random-access memory chip before your rivals do, then reap huge profits as computer makers pay top dollar for a more powerful DRAM. It's a high-risk game, and no one has played it better than the Koreans. Led by Samsung Electronics Co., the chaebol muscled their way into the global chip market in the 1990s, stealing share from the Japanese and landing big contracts with the top U.S. hardware companies.

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