Cheap Rambus memory on the way

Probably best not to hold one's breath, though

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San Jose Samsung revealed to The Reg today that it has set itself the target of bringing Rambus to within five percent of the cost of boring old SDRAM. A laudable aim, but unfortunately the date set for this wondrous event is sometime in 2002.

When asked at the Platform Conference in San Jose what the main problem OEMs came up against when using Rambus, Samsung's Yong Joo Han replied, with refreshing candour, "Cost."

And in a far more plausible explanation of why Chipzilla's own benchmarks show little or no performance gain with Rambus over SDRAM (they said it was that the benchmarks weren't good enough), he said that it was down to the fact that memory performance still isn't the limiting factor in overall system performance, pointing the finger at the CPU, chipset, AGP and I/O instead.

But next January, new 288Mb RDRAM modules using a yield-improving technology dubbed 4i will burst upon a startled world alongside reduced cost packaging to bring down prices. By how much, Samsung's Rambus supremo refused to say.

But, when pressed, he did confirm that in 2002, the company had committed to bringing the cost of Rambus to within five per cent of DDR SDRAM.

Samsung also showed projections that by the end of 2003, DDR memory would have almost all the server market to itself, while Rambus would own about 80 per cent of the workstation market and just under 50 per cent of desktops, plus a fair sized chunk of games platforms and set top boxes. ®


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