Rambus unfazed by Intel DDR plan

RDRAM will rule by 2002 anyway, company reckons

Rambus expects Intel to release a DDR SDRAM chipset for the Pentium 4, and it's none too bothered by the fact.

That's certainly the tone of comments made by Rambus' VP for worldwide marketing, Avo Kanadjian, interviewed over at EBN. Kanadjian claims he "isn't worried" about Chipzilla's DDR plans.

As an example of his lack of concern, Kanadjian says he doesn't think Intel will get a DDR chipset for P4 out before 2002. Clearly, he's seen the same roadmap that we have. Based on internal Intel documents The Register saw last year, we're not expecting Intel's upcoming SDRAM-oriented P4 chipset, Brookdale, to support DDR until Q1 2002, so we'd like to thank Rambus for confirming this for us.

And Kanadjian nicely backs up what we're expecting to happen over the next six months or so: that Intel will promote RDRAM hard with the intention of making it the de facto standard for P4-based systems with high-performance memory.

By the launch of Brookdale DDR support, "RDRAM would have ramped up so strongly for Pentium 4 that a DDR chipset won't be able to compete", reckons Kanadjian.

Of course, the curious thing about all this is what we've heard about an agreement previously signed by Chipzilla and Rambush that the chip giant won't produce a DDR chipset before 2003. Clearly, since that deal was struck, the two have modified their plans, probably as a result of Rambus' aggressive pursuit of its DDR and SDRAM intellectual property royalties.

We imagine Rambus reckons that by early 2002, its actions will have ensured RDRAM and DDR are competing so closely on price that - thanks to Intel's promotional work through 2001 - there'll be little need for OEMs to adopt DDR if they want to sell P4-based systems. At that point Intel can be happily allowed to support DDR for completion's sake.

Kanadjian also noted that the company expects to see 1066MHz RDRAM in PCs by the end of the year following its introduction for consumer and comms products this summer. He also promised a quad signalling system will be introduced soon, also for consumer and comms parts, upping the number of bits transferred per clock cycle to four and thus doubling the bandwidth from 800Mbps to 1.6Gbps, the same throughput offered by existing PC-oriented RDRAM. ®

Related Link

EBN's interview with Avo Kanadjian

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