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Chipzilla pauses to think about Rambus Ink

Much internal gnashing and grinding of teeth at Satan Clara

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Reluctantly, very reluctantly, it appears as if chip giant Intel has really revised its buffalo stance on Rambus. Reports are now suggesting that the towering giant, tired of appearing in the Monty Python Silly Walk sketch which is Caminogate, is now closer than ever to admitting defeat and will stop forcing Rambus down the throats of all of its customers and erstwhile friends. Although our information is that Intel will, with a flourish, produce a 2+0 Rambus i820 at or around the time of Comdex/Fall, teams of helpers are currently bashing away at its own PC-133 SDRAM chipset, which it announced it would produce at the last Intel Developer Forum in September. As we reported at the time, it is not looking to Rambus to help power its Itanic™ (Merced) IA-64 chip when it is launched in the second half of next year. Nevertheless, Intel finds itself between a rock and a hard place. Its contract with Rambus means it must use its best efforts to push the platform, otherwise there will be a spot of bovver. Make no mistake about it, Intel's furry and mighty paws are clenching and unclenching in fury because it has been badly burnt by the debacle. All of its partners bar one (Rambus) in the Seven Dramurai consortium, which Chipzilla hastily cobbled together for the world's press at the Forum, have been taking their lucifers* out of their boxes and lighting little fires under the giant's fundament. Whether the industry lost $150 million because of Caminogate, we'll never really be sure, but here are some rumours we've heard which we believe to have some substance. The chip manufacturers, including mighty Samsung, were very upset when production of the i820 boards was called off at the last minute. Dell had ordered an awful lot of RIMMs and according to our information, suddenly didn't seem to want them. The major Rambus manufacturers have temporarily ceased production of the parts and in the meantime have revised their terms and conditions. From now on in, they want cash on the nail for any RIMMs ordered, and in the meantime have cut back on test equipment for the ill-fated platform. We hear more rumours, substantiated by a number of PC manufacturers, that the 2+0 RIMM answer is the one slated for Comdex or thereabouts. And the fresh legal onslaught against Via and its partners is all part of a change of plan at Chipzilla, which will include PC-100, PC-133 and even the dreaded DDR (double data rate), all of which Intel has publicly disparaged. Make no mistake, this is one very cross Chipzilla. Watch out for its big lumbering feet and its oh-so-sharp fangs as it rushes further into the Caminogate swamp... ® * A lucifer was a match, as in the First World War song: "Pack up your troubles in your old kit-bag, And smile, smile, smile. While you've a lucifer to light your fag**, Smile boys, that's the style." ** A fag is UK slang for a cigarette. See also Intel move to PC-133 mere lip service Intel in full cunning strategic retreat over PC-133 Seven Dramurai™ ride two memory standards at once Intel admits chipset famine

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