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Intel in full cunning strategic retreat over PC-133

Requests from vendors make them promise support

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Intel Developer Forum Chip giant Intel has now bent to inevitable pressure and said that, after evaluation, it will now support PC-133. The news came from Peter MacWilliams, an Intel fellow, at an announcement at the Intel Developer Forum (IDF). MacWilliams said that Intel had realised the difficulties some companies had in moving from synchronous memory to Rambus technology. "We have come to a better understanding of how difficult the transition might be," he said. "We don't see a change in the basic fundamentals." MacWilliams said that major vendors are already building PC100/PC133 compliant systems, so Intel did not see any major need to update specifications. The first PC133 systems will arrive in the first half of next year, he said. "We'll look at validation for our own chipsets," he said. The change means that Intel will now design specs to provide two sockets for RIMMs and two sockets for PC133, after "overwhelming" requests from OEMs. "We're not supporting S-RIMM," he said, "and DIMM riser enabling is no longer supported. On Rambus technology, he said that the consortium (See Seven Dramurai story yesterday), will attempt to reduce prices on die overheads, packaging, RIMMs, component and RIMM testing and PCBs. "We take cost reduction extremely seriously," he said. Rambus manufacturers will have to follow guidelines closely to ensure the best results. MacWilliams refused to be drawn on which chipsets would support PC-133, but said the standard will not be supported in either workstations or servers. In fifteen minutes time, Intel will hold a press conference on the topic. We will update this story as necessary." ®

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