Times Staff and Wire Reports

Memory Chip Shortage Pushes Up Prices: The severe shortfall of the chips that power multimedia and interactive computer applications has pushed the price of standard 4-megabit dynamic random-access memory, or DRAM, chips as much as 60% higher than in current contracts, analysts said. To fill the demand, Dallas-based Texas Instruments Inc. is expanding two plants and building a factory in Richardson, Tex. The other U.S. DRAM maker, Idaho-based Micron Technology Inc., plans to spend $1.3 billion building a fourth plant. South Korea's Samsung Corp., the largest manufacturer of the chips, has built a factory scheduled to begin production late in the second quarter.

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