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Intel widens Rambus gap

Gelsinger acknowledges price problem

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At a press conference held in San Jose this afternoon, Pat Gelsinger, chief technology officer of Intel's architecture group, acknowledged that the price of Rambus RIMMs had disappointed the firm.

But, at the same time, he said that Intel still considered Rambus memory to be the best technology for its up-and-coming Pentium 4 (Willamette) 32-bit processor.

Gelsinger said: "RDRAM hasn't hit the price and volume levels we were hoping for. Unfortunately, the volume and price levels haven't developed as fast as we hope.

"Fundamenally, what we said [at the Spring Intel Developer Forum] is still accurate. RDRAM is the best and primary memory for Pentium 4."

He said that SDRAM, which will be offered for the Pentium 4 in the second half of next year, is intended for the low end of the marketplace.

Answering other questions, he said that Intel is agnostic about the matter of whether Napster infringes copyright law.

But, he insisted, the technology behind Napster, using so called peer to peer networking, was applicable in many business arenas and Intel is working to deliver solutions with a number of partners.

"Peer to peer networking is the next big thing," he said. "It's a true new model of how the Internet will get used in the future."

The technology has great promise in the future, he said. "We're defenders of intellectual property rights and in the specific matter of Napster, we're neutral and don't have an opinion.

"There are corporate applications for it, for example what's the peer-to-peer equivalent for E Bay, for Yahoo, and for other big Web sites."

Examples of how it can be used in the future include file sharing, distributed computing, and storage, he said. While corporations were right to be wary about security implications, there were, however, big potential benefits.

Intel, he said, had successfully implemented peer to peer techniques within its own organisation, and had made significant cost savings.

Pat "Kicking" Gelsinger prefaced his remarks with the following comment: "Mr Magee, I told you to be up in the front where I can see, and not hide at the back where I can't keep my eyes on you." ®

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