1999 not Year of Rambus, warns Fujitsu exec

Shortages of testers and packaging will mean shortages of Direct DRAM

Concern that memory companies will not be able to produce enough Rambus Direct DRAMs increased yesterday when the deputy general manager of Fujitsu's DRAM division admitted a shortage of packaging and testing units will hit supply hard. "1999 is not going to be a Direct Rambus year," warned Masao Taguchi. Taguchi said that tight supplies of both Micro-BGA packages and testing devices for high-speed memory is putting the squeeze on Fujitsu's Direct DRAM production, according to EE Times. And he said these shortages are hitting other Direct DRAM producers too. Taguchi's comments follow increasing speculation that the year will see a major shortage of Direct DRAM, chosen by Intel as the next memory standard. As an alternative, some chip-set vendors, most notable SIS, Acer and VIA will support PC133 SDRAM until Direct DRAM is available in sufficient quantities (see Intel, chip-set vendors prepare for Rambus shortage). IBM has said it will produce PC133 SDRAMs. Even Intel is worried. It has developed an system to allow SDRAMs to be mounted on Direct DRAM RIMMs (Rambus Inline Memory Modules), and recently began pouring investment dollars into DRAM producers to encourage them to ramp up production, most notably Samsung and Toshiba (see Intel to pour $100 million into Samsung and Intel tempts Toshiba with cash carrot). Taguchi denied that Fujitsu had been in similar investment talks with Intel. ®

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