Feeds

Intel wants to have DDR cake and eat it

Plays Rambus off against VIA over P4 support

  • alert
  • submit to reddit

VIA could go ahead with its own DDR chipset for Pentium 4, with or without Intel's agreement.

The world's number one and two chipset makers are known to be discussing an agreement whereby VIA could provide DDR support for the P4 in the light of Intel's current agreement with Rambus which prevents the company from supporting DDR memory on its own chipsets until 2003.

At the same time Intel is also talking to Rambus in a bid to get the three year ban lifted.

Intel needs to introduce DDR support for the P4 very early in 2001 if it is not to be seen to be lagging behind AMD in price performance. The Rambus memory which will be the only option with early P4 systems is still considerably more expensive that the DDR SDRAM which, in most cases, offers comparable performance.

The chip giant would ideally like to have its own DDR chipset offerings for P4, but if the talks with Rambus end in stalemate, it will need to fall back on VIA's ability to introduce just such a chipset. However, Intel doesn't want to sign away its intellectual property to VIA only to find its own hands suddenly untied.

In the meantime, VIA's patience is wearing thin, and this week Taiwan's Commercial Times quoted Timothy Chen, a Via spokesman based in California, as saying:

"It is our plan to make a DDR chipset for the Pentium 4. I can't comment about the timeframe.

"Intel will have a big hole in their roadmap for the next six months," added Chen. "Next year will be the most trying time for Intel."

Back in July, Eric Chang, VIA's director of product marketing, said that although VIA didn't currently have a licence for future IA32 architecture, he was confident that it soon would.

"We've got 40 per cent [chipset] market share now and will have at least 50 per cent by the end of the year," he claimed.

"With that market share, Intel needs us onside." ®

Related stories

VIA 'to be number one chipset vendor by year end'
Rambus is wonderful, says VIA

Whitepapers

Forging a new future with identity relationship management
Learn about ForgeRock's next generation IRM platform and how it is designed to empower CEOS's and enterprises to engage with consumers.
Cloud and hybrid-cloud data protection for VMware
Learn how quick and easy it is to configure backups and perform restores for VMware environments.
Three 1TB solid state scorchers up for grabs
Big SSDs can be expensive but think big and think free because you could be the lucky winner of one of three 1TB Samsung SSD 840 EVO drives that we’re giving away worth over £300 apiece.
Reg Reader Research: SaaS based Email and Office Productivity Tools
Read this Reg reader report which provides advice and guidance for SMBs towards the use of SaaS based email and Office productivity tools.
Security for virtualized datacentres
Legacy security solutions are inefficient due to the architectural differences between physical and virtual environments.