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Intel continues Rambus PR puff

Fresh Willamette pledge part of contract

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Chip giant Intel endorses Rambus memory so frequently,and with such ardour, for its up and coming Willamette platform that if you believed in conspiracy theories you'd be bound to find one here. According to a story in yesterday's EE Times, Intel has once more reiterated its faith in Rambus memory as being the only memory that its next IA-32 processor, Willamette, will have truck with. Further, the magazine quotes an Intel executive as saying that DDR, double data rate memory, is not on the Willamette roadmap at all. Here it's time to take a break from whether Rambus is a better option than DDR memory, and we can also safely ignore the fact that Foster will use DDR memory rather than Rambus. Instead, it's worth taking a look at the nature of the contract between Intel and Rambus, which exists, in the form of an SEC filing, which is still findable here. Amongst a lot of other interesting information, is this paragraph: "Intel will use its continuing best efforts in marketing, public relations, and engineering to make the Rambus-D DRAM the primary DRAM for PC main memory applications through December 31, 2002; and (b)Intel will communicate to the top (10) DRAM manufacturers, Intel's intention to support the Rambus-D Interface Technology in its integrated circuits for low end workstation, performance desktop, and basic PC platforms." This is a contract, right? And Intel would be crazy to break such a contract, hedged as it is by all sorts of clauses, sub clauses and Santa Clara-style clauses which would keep m'learned friends busy until Moore's Law stopped working. So, you see, dear readers, Intel has little choice but to carry on belting out that PR message that Rambus is the bee's bollocks not only for its current Coppermine desktop platform but also for its up and coming Willamette desktop platform. Intel also has to carry on beating that particular drum up to the end of 2002, despite anything that its PC customers, its third party partners, its memory partners and even Her Majesty's Press have to say. Despite Intel's latest pledge to support Rambus, the latter's share price has fallen by over $28 in the last two days of trading on Wall Street, closing yesterday at over $178. This is a far cry from the $500 Rambus execs wanted, and brokers Morgan Stanley tipped, pre-stock split.

  • Intel yesterday sold over one million shares it had in Micron, valued at around $70 million. Last week Micron confirmed it would bring its DDR Samurai chipset to market in the second half of this year.

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