ServerWorks pivotal in Intel-Rambus chipset tale

What is the nature of this strange beast?

Intel and the biggest PC vendors in the world are relying on ServerWorks, a maker of chipsets, to help sell servers during 2001, so making the mysterious firm a key factor in the memory politics currently plaguing the industry.

A little while back, The Register published information about server roadmaps which showed that Intel is relying heavily on ServerWorks technology for its high end microprocessors next year.

ServerWorks, which was formerly known as Reliance, is a privately held company which, we understand, will float (IPO) on one of the US markets in the not too distant future.

You can see how it has quietly been signing deals with some major PC folk by turning to this page here.

Intel, Compaq, IBM, Dell, Acer, SuperMicro, Hewlett Packard, Fujitsu Siemens have all struck deals with ServerWorks, the most recent being the Big Blue deal. ServerWorks issued a press release on June 21st, which you can find on its Web site here. This shows how ServerWorks and Big Blue are collaborating to intro S/390, RS, and AS/400 technology to give its Netfinity (IBM server platform) and its "X-rated" architecture a push.

Cos the fact is, that in the multiprocessing sector about two CPUs, Rambus technology does not cut it. This is partly due to cost -- the amount of megabytes you stuff into servers would prohibit RIMM solutions.

ServerWorks is enabling double data rate (DDR) memory in 184 pin configurations for the server market and so far there is little sign that the company has signed on the dotted line with Rambus to license this technology. Information on ServerWorks plans for DDR is scant -- a mere few lines show that's what it's doing, but how it's doing it is a different question altogether.

Now we shall have to just wait and see whether the Rambus move to shelter DDR memory suppliers under its wing will include ServerWorks, a key partner to Intel et al, or whether Intel, aided and abetted by various Dramurai and customers, will seek to protect its lucrative server end of the market by using other ways and means.

Meanwhile, for US lawyers who read The Reg, here is Rambus' revised SEC filing for its deal with Intel.

We can't make head or tail of it, being laymen, but if any of you can, please let us know. The ServerWorks saga is going to run and run.. ®

See Also

Rambus, Pentium 4: The Hall of Mirrors
Intel's view on DDR memory
Rambus no longer makes Intel's eyes twinkle
DDR versus Rambus: the saga never ends
Intel's cunning server plans