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Intel moots sooner-than-later DDR support

Brookdale DDR to ship October, Brookdale PC-133 may not ship at all, sources claim

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Intel is pulling forward the launch of its DDR-supporting Brookdale Pentium 4 chipset from Q1 2002 to Q4 2001, perhaps as soon as next October, according to "sources with knowledge of the company's plans", cited by EBN.

Brookdale is due to ship in Q3 2001 - around August, we reckon, from the copy of Chipzilla's latest desktop chipset roadmap we saw recently - with support for PC-133 SDRAM. This version is designed to take the P4 into mainstream markets. In the meantime, Intel is aiming it a higher-end applications and promoting Rambus' RDRAM as its preferred high-performance memory technology.

The DDR version of Brookdale, according to the same roadmap, is due Q1 2002, to "full range of memory support". By then, RDRAM should be well established as the P4 memory technology of choice.

The potential flaw in the plan is AMD's support for DDR, which is due to manifest itself in selling product this quarter with volume shipments of Athlon-based DDR chipsets.

Intel clearly doesn't want to risk being left behind, which is why it announced DDR support in the first place, apparently in contradiction of its avowed backing for RDRAM. AMD's moves may be behind Intel's decision to pull forward Brookdale DDR's ship date, if indeed it has - we have yet to see anything that corroborates the sources' claims.

Other EBN sources suggest that plan may also involve pulling back the release of the PC-133 version of Brookdale to Q4 2001 and perhaps even canning it altogether. That's certainly possible, provided RDRAM becomes cheap enough between now and Brookdale's scheduled summer ship date to make P4 PC-133 support unnecessary. But that would also surely make Brookdale DDR unneeded too. ®

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