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Intel to pour $100 million into Samsung

Great Stan dangles investment carrot to tempt vendors into Rambus DRAM production

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Intel is to invest $100 million in Korean chip manufacturer Samsung, it emerged yesterday. The deal hasn't yet been formally signed, but it will see the Great Satan of Chips buying $100 million worth of Samsung stock. The catch: Samsung has to use to the money to ramp up production of Rambus Direct DRAM. That's a pattern set down last October when Intel invested $500 million in Micron Technology through the purchase of six per cent of Micron's shares. Intel is clearly concerned that possible shortages of Direct DRAM could hinder the take-up of Rambus' next-generation memory technology, which Intel has been promoting for some time and will bring to the PC next quarter when it releases its Camino chipset. Similar fears of a dearth of Direct DRAM have prompted other chipset vendors, most notably VIA, SIS and Acer Labs, to support the PC133 SDRAM specification as an interim measure (see Chipset vendors prepare for Rambus shortage). IBM has also said it will produce PC133 products, in anticipation of keen demand (see IBM to offer Rambus alternative). ®

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