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Rambus plots fivefold expansion in RDRAM bandwidth

Roadmap extended to 1.2GHz, adds 32- and 64-bit RIMMs

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Rambus unwrapped its latest roadmap in Japan yesterday at the company's Developer Forum. At the forefront of Rambus' plans: to provide new devices that will boost memory bandwidth by 400 per cent with only "minimal changes" to existing RDRAM-based mobos.

Rambus' roadmap projects memory clock speeds increasing to 1066MHz and 1200MHz, coming into production in 2002 and 2005, respectively. Upping the clock speed this way will bring a 50 per cent performance hike over today's 800MHz RDRAM, the company claimed.

Alongside that development, Rambus will widen its RIMM width to 32 bits and 64 bits, doubling and quadrupling RIMM bandwidth.

The upshot will be that, come 2005, RDRAM will provide memory throughput of 9.6GBps. That, Rambus boasts, will be beyond the "anticipated performance requirements of PC main memory". Anticipated by whom? Step forward, Intel, with a handy rent-a-quote for the occasion:

"Intel supports the steps that Rambus and the RDRAM industry are taking to address the anticipated memory demand,'' said Louis Burns, VP of Intel's Desktop Products Group.

And three of the world's biggest Dramurai - Samsung, Toshiba and Elpida - were on hand to commit to the production of these faster RDRAM devices.

Samsung said it will ship over 130 million 128Mb RDRAM chips this year. That compares with the 200 million 128Mb DDR SDRAM parts the world's memory makers - Samsung among them - will also punch out.

Rambus' announcement comes a week after a - dare we say it? - triumphalist Infineon claimed DDR will really take off next year and dominate the mainstream memory business in 2003 with over 50 per cent of the market. ®

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