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Dramurai™ Warriors say Intel's Rambus plans poo

Where are those Asia-Pacific RIMMs?

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Reports on US wires have told of a meeting organised in the desert by Chipzilla in which large semiconductor companies are being not-so-gently encouraged to manufacture loads of RIMMs, and to be quick about it.

But the memory companies - the so-called Dramurai - are just saying no to Intel's proposals.

Meanwhile, another conference held in San Jose is telling a different tale, of double data rate (DDR) memory accelerating its growth into the market.

Intel is forced under the terms of a contract it has with memory firm Rambus to do its marketing and PR for it up until the end of 2002, and also to use its best efforts to promote this type of memory as the pervasive desktop platform.

According to reports in Cnet and Semiconductor Business News, the secret conclave took place in Chandler, Arizona, but the memory manufacturers - the Dramurai - are resisting attempts by Intel to plunge their efforts into a memory platform that most third party PC manufacturers believe is too expensive.

The reports suggest that most of the Dramurai, perhaps with the exception of Samsung and Hyundai, are digging their heels in big time, and refusing to commit big time to Rambus.

SBN said that many of the memory manufacturers stormed out a day early, rather than submit to Intel's alluring advances.

Synchronous memory is currently more popular than Rambus in the marketplace, and also much cheaper, but Intel is in a dilemma seeing as its up-and-coming Willamette IA-32 chip, coupled with its Garibaldi chipset, depends on there being enough RIMMs in the market for it to take off.

Intel has already abandoned attempts to promote Rambus memory in its servers, its notebooks and in its up-and-coming Timna system-on-a-chip platform.

And, surely, it would be only the most dyed-in-the-wool cynic who would suggest that it also needs to persuade more manufacturing of RIMMs because of its slight difficulty with its i820 chipset.

This is the official Intel line: "Clearly the formation of the Advanced DRAM Technology group in Jan means we are constantly working with the DRAM vendors. D-RDRAM is the memory solution we believe will deliver the performance necessary in match the capabilities of the rest of the platform, including the CPU, Gfx, and IO."

The DDR love-fest is being held in San Jose, and Intel is absent from it. You can find its details here. ®

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