A huge shift is looming in the memory market, according to a major European memory card manufacturer which has just established a presence in Australia.
Within six months, the bulk of branded memory modules will have switched to SDRAM technology from today's EDO standard, predicted John Trolle, president and CEO of Memory Card Technology.
Based on the $130 million company's contacts with its OEM customers, "most of the brand name machines launched over the next six months will use SDRAM," he said.
Fuelling the move are SDRAM performance gains delivered at virtually no rise in retail prices of SDRAM-based cards.
"On a standard Pentium 166MHz platform running Windows 95, we see a performance boost of at least 45 per cent with SDRAM and its synchronous signal," Trolle said.
"Since there is a minimal price differential between EDO and SDRAM, everybody is changing now."
The shift may also tilt the balance against generic memory in favour of branded memory modules, he suggested.
"SDRAM cards are more complicated to design and make, so it will be hard for manufacturers of (generic) 72pin standard SIMMs to make the switch from EDO to SDRAM requirements. The probable result: larger growth in the proprietary sector of the memory market than in the generic sector.
Memory Card Technology is basing its Asia-Pacific rim regional hub in Brisbane and has appointed NJS Technology as its sole Australian distributor.
The alliance fills a hole for NJS, which parted company last year with Australia's dominant memory card supplier, Kingston Technology.
A Danish company, Memory Card Technology has opened regional offices in six countries in the past year and has been doubling turnover annually for the past four years.
Solid customers include Toshiba and Fujitsu. Brisbane's direct air transport links to Japan and other Asian markets were a key reason for MCT siting its regional hub there.
An initial five-person staff will grow to 25 within two years if the company's expectations for the region are borne out, said MCT Australia managing director Jorgen Christenson.
MCT would be "disappointed" if first year revenues do not reach $15 million, of which $6 million to $8 million should be generated by the Australian market, he said.