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PC makers make Intel squirm over Rambus, chip shortages

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System Builders Summit, Monte Carlo System builders seem keen to make Intel squirm over Rambus'defeat in court.

Delegates at the IFE/System Builder Summit in Monte Carlo this week had the opportunity to stick it to Intel during a Q&A post-sales pitch, and then gave AMD and VIA the chance to look smug after their own presentation.

But Mark Beckford, Intel's reseller group marketing director, was first attacked over chip shortages. He apologised for the situation and then flannelled on about ramping up production, being victims of their own success, and how they could manage the problem.

It was then pointed out to him that Intel`s representative at the event last year had also apologised for shortages as well.

Ah, but that was a specific market problem in May last year. Everyone had supply problems then, said Mark.

But what about Rambus? Should system builders be getting behind RDRAM they wanted to know. "We can`t force a technolgy," said Mark. "RDRAM, like Betamax, was the best technology at the time, but either way we'll have the architecture."

DDR it is then.

AMD, when given the chance to put the boot in, was a little reluctant to give a good kicking. Marketing man Dave Everitt said AMD will "follow where our customers and marketplace leads us".

Which is where?

"We get substantial performance out of DDR. I see no reason to engage in another memory technology."

VIA VP of marketing Paul Ayscough thought that DDR hadn't achieved the market-share it should have. He felt this was partly because of SDRAM prices
falling through the floor, and also because system builders "aren't going out on a limb" with newer technologies.

But VIA is sticking with it. "I don't see Rambus memory on any roadmaps next year," he said. ®

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