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Samsung has started shipping the first of its 64Mbit parts using DDR (double data rate) synchronous DRAM at a speed of 266MHz but the move is unlikely to herald a rush of such devices. Next year, Intel will push for the Rambus standard in all PCs which will supersede the DDR standard and provide wider bandwidths for the faster processors expected in 1999. The DRAM manufacturers are forced to pay a licence fee of around two per cent to Rambus to use the technology, and had developed DDR as a cheaper alternative. Roy Taylor, joint managing director of Vanguard in the UK, said: “No DRAM manufacturers are happy about paying Rambus royalties, however although it’s great for PCs, it’s not so good for workstations.” He thought that Intel’s position was that it needed to have better technology for its high end processors. “Most people are saying that DDR is little more than a sideshow and manufacturers will be forced to adopt Rambus,” he said. He said his feeling was that Intel would push for Rambus to be adopted more quickly by the industry than originally expected. “I’ve a strong gut feeling it will be pulled forward,” he said. “Intel wants to put clear blue water between itself and its competition.”

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