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Rambus to play bit part in Intel's 2001 plans

Chipzilla roadmap kimono opens a little wider

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Intel looks intent on phasing out Rambus support across the spectrum by the middle of next year, except for the high end workstation segment.

Following our story on next year's developments on the Intel front last week, more confidential roadmap details have come to light, this time in Electronic Buyers' News.

As we reported, Intel will phase out the RDRAM 820 Caminogate chipset in the first quarter of next year, while the Tehama 850 P4 chipset, due for launch this month, will itself be dropped sometime in the third quarter. By then, Intel's only Rambus chip set will then be the souped-up Tehama-E, aimed at workstations and PCs costing more than $2,000.

Intel and Rambus are reportedly engaged in negotiations over the removal of a clause in their agreement preventing Chipzilla from launching its own DDR chipset until 2003.

But while these negotiations continue, Intel is well down the road in designing its own DDR chipsets, codenamed Almador and Brookdale, due for launch in the middle of next year which will feature both SDR and DDR support.

The leaked roadmap shows Brookdale replacing the Tehama 850 Rambus chipset for high-end Mainstream 3 PCs in the $1,500 to $2,000 price range, while Brookdale supports the Northwood P4, inked for 2H 2001 introduction. The Almador chipset, which supports Tualatin, the 1.3 micron Pentium III die shrink, will appear at the end of the second quarter, aimed at PCs in the $1,300-to-$1,700 range. Tualatin drops down into the $1,100 to $1,400 price bracket in the third quarter of 2001.

Acer, Micron, and Via have already introduced DDR-enabled technology for Athlon and Pentium III. Via and Acer are still seeking to licence the P4 architecture and are known to have had talks with Intel President Craig Barrett in Taiwan last week. ®

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