Intel tempts Toshiba with cash carrot

Get into Rambus production -- and win fabulous cash prizes

Intel has followed up its investments in Samsung and Micron Technologies with a similar deal with Toshiba. The reason: to persuade the Japanese giant to ramp up production of Rambus Direct DRAM. It's not yet known how much cash the Great Stan waved in front of Toshiba's nose, but it's likely be in the same ballpark as the $100 million investment in Samsung and the $500 million it paid to Micron. Toshiba is Japan's second largest chipmaker. Intel has been keen to offer financial enticements to memory producers once it became clear that supplies of Direct DRAM chips are likely to be limited. Intel has stated that Rambus' memory technology is the way forward for faster RAM, and is set to introduce its Camino chipset, the first mainstream motherboard design to support Direct DRAM, next quarter. Other chip-set vendors have been lining up behind the PC133 SDRAM memory spec. as a short-term alternative to ease the transition to Direct DRAM (see Chipset vendors prepare for Rambus shortage). IBM has also said it will produce PC133 products, in anticipation of that demand (see IBM to offer Rambus alternative). ®

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