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Hyundai hedges bets on Rambus production

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A report in Semiconductor Business News is confirming earlier reports that Samsung is to boost its production of Rambus memory. But at the same time, Hyundai seems to be dithering over whether to put its stake into this particular piece of the memory turf. Samsung will ramp up production from two million units a month to 10 million units a month in Q2, and will mostly manufacture 288Mbit chips, the report says. But Hyundai is adopting a wait and see approach before committing more of its manufacturing clout to the memory technology. Currently it makes around five million Rambus pieces a month. Adoption of Rambus memory production has been slow to date because the RIMMs (memory modules) have been expensive compared to synchronous DRAM (SDRAM). Further, problems Intel had in shipping its Rambus i820 chipset at the end of last year put a dent in consumer's expectations. But Intel, which has investments in both Samsung and Rambus, insisted at a bi-annual developer forum last month, that it was still committed to the memory technology. It has publicly stated that it believes Rambus will be the best memory option for the Willamette processor it will introduce this autumn, while the server version of Willamette, codenamed Foster, will use double data rate (DDR) memory. The Rambus share price (ticker RMBS) has seen some extraordinary fluctuations over the last year. Its 52 week low happened on April 23rd last year, when it stood at $51.5. Its high was at $379 just yesterday but fell by over $4 by close of trading. ®

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