RDRAM-to-DDR P4 transition? No problemo – Intel

Shift from Socket 423 to Socket 478 will be smooth, chip maker promises

Intel does not expect the transition from Socket 423 Pentium 4 processors to the Socket 478 version of the chip to cause mobo makers and PC vendors any implementation problems, the company promised on Monday.

Due to be announced and - we expect - ship sometime next quarter, the Socket 478 P4 is the version of the chip that will be used in Brookdale, Intel's PC-133 and, ultimately, DDR chipset. It will also be used with DDR chipsets from SIS, Acer Labs and VIA.

The current, Socket 423 version is the one designed to work with Rambus RDRAM-based chipsets, like Intel's own 850.

Speaking at the Intel Developers Forum in Taipei, Intel's platform components group chief, Louis Burns, said the company was working with chipset and mobo makers to pave the way for Socket 478 chips before they go into volume production.

How soon that will be may depend on the effect of Intel's recent and upcoming P4 price cuts. Certainly, they seem to be having an effect. According to a DigiTimes report, Asustek VP Jonathan Tseng said that April's P4 mobo shipments will have be at least twice the number the company shipped in March - the first month the P4 seems to have shipped in anything like significant numbers. ®