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Rambus to take 40 per cent of DRAM biz – president

Promises cheaper RDRAM too

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Rambus' Direct DRAM memory technology will account for 40 per cent of the memory market within the next three years, the company president has claimed.

He also pledged that RDRAM, long one of the more expensive memory options, would come down in price, thanks to new development work carried out by Rambus.

Speaking at the opening of Rambus' Taiwan operation, Rambus president Dave Mooring said the arrival of Chipzilla's Pentium 4 later this month would catapult RDRAM into the forefront of the memory market, where it would become a "core standard", according to Taiwan business daily Commercial Times.

Mooring's statement comes just days after three Taiwanese contract memory manufacturers said they would no longer produce RDRAM. Last week, Winbond Electronics, Promos Technologies and Powerchip Semiconductor all cited their doubts over the future of the Direct DRAM market - largely thanks to the arrival of DDR SDRAM - as the main motivation for their decision to end production.

Rambus' decision to open a Taiwanese office is part of an attempt to counter that shift toward DDR SDRAM. Mooring said his company will found a technology centre to help Far Eastern manufacturers implement Rambus in their products.

He'll first have to persuade them that his memory technology if cost-effective. Certainly, sources close Asustek, one Rambus licensee, have said the company will not up RDRAM production until the second half of 2001 because the high price is limiting demand, according to CT.

Mooring admitted that RDRAM is too expensive. "But Rambus has found some way to fix the problem," he added, without elaborating.

Cheaper RDRAM will boots Rambus' marketshare, Mooring said, citing an IDC statistics that less-expensive RDRAM would give the technology 40 per cent of the market in three years.

Of course, that still leaves 60 per cent of the business in SDRAM's hands, and it's hard to see RDRAM, already described by Gartner Group as "pretty much dead".

"It only made it into some areas such as high-end workstations, but it is dead for the mainstream PC," said Gartner analyst Kevin Knox, t'other week. "It is probably not a wise decision to carry on supporting this technology." ®

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