Intel's Grove admits Rambus will take time

Only for a small proportion of the PC universe

In an interview on CNN TV last Friday, Intel's chairman Andy Grove, acknowledged that it will be some time before Direct Rambus technology becomes part of the PC mainstream. Speaking in an interactive debate using telephones and email, Grove also forecast a continuing shrinking of silicon technology but using aluminium, rather than copper interconnects. This coming week, at the Intel Developer Forum (IDF), which we will cover in full, the chip giant is expected to formally announce its plans to integrate the competing PC-133 memory technology into chipsets to integrate with its processors. At the same IDF this time last year, Intel confidently predicted that Direct Rambus modules would already be incorporated in PCs. But a combination of difficulties throughout this year has forced Intel to modify its plans in order to use PC-133 memory. Some of those difficulties are technical and others are due to the high cost of Direct Rambus modules. On the CNN telecast, Grove said that future processor speeds would demand a memory speed which could keep up. But he acknowledged, that could be some time ahead. Grove also said that it would compete with other chip manufacturers, such as AMD, by targeting them in their own space. This is not such a subtle hint that Intel's plans for Willamette may be further ahead than at first thought. The Register will have full coverage of Autumn's IDF, which starts Tuesday, through the coming week. ®

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