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Netlist Transforms With High-Margin Bet

Once the technical jargon is stripped away, it's no wonder why investors love with Netlist. Simply put, Netlist has created a computer memory module that takes off-the-shelf memory chips and makes them go faster, consume less power, and create higher capacity. That means fewer, better performing computer servers and, in turn, fewer costs for datacenter customers.

"It takes the same Samsung DRAM or Toshiba flash chip that everyone else uses and basically turns them into something much more high performance, beyond what those manufacturers can themselves do," Hong adds.

Investor enthusiasm has been rampant, apparent in the spike of trading activity. Prior to Netlist's HyperCloud announcement, share volume rarely topped 100,000 per day. Even after Netlist reported disappointing third-quarter earnings on Nov. 2, volume barely topped 228,000 shares.

Since HyperCloud's formal introduction, though, share volume hasn't fallen below 500,000. During one stretch in November, daily share volume exceeded 11 million for seven straight sessions. During this time, Netlist shares rallied from below $1 to nearly $8, where it began trading back in 2006. The stock pulled back some but has remained around the $4 level.

HyperCloud and NetVault, another new product the company is working on, are part of Netlist's altered approach to dominating the memory market. While Netlist went public on a business supported by memory board-level design and packaging that addressed thermal issues, the company has been transformed on the two proprietary product lines.

"We're a different business and a different company since then," Hong said. "We saw the writing on the wall as we ran into heavy losses and tough market conditions. It quickly dawned on us that we needed to look to create other values besides board-level and chip-packaging technology and create proprietary chips."
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