Intel will ship DDR i845 chipset early

So say mobo, memory makers, despite Intel denials

Intel has officially denied that it plans to bring forward the release of the DDR version of its i845 chipset, but Taiwanese memory and mobo companies insist that that is exactly what the chip giant will do.

We noted a week or so back that comments from Hynix suggested that Intel may well have brought the release of the DDR i845 forward from its scheduled Q1 2002 launch timeframe, with a new launch coming perhaps as soon as the formal launch of the PC133 i845 (see Intel to launch DDR i845 chipset this month?).

Hynix said it expects August to see a significant increase in DDR shipments, and that only seems likely if Intel has a DDR chipset out too.

Not so, an Intel spokesdroid subsequently told Bloomberg - the DDR i845 is still set to ship during the first quarter of next year.

However, a DigiTimes report claims Taiwanese companies are telling it that Intel has been saying it will bring the release forward, to compete more effectively with VIA's 'unofficial' P4X266 and an 'official' Pentium 4 DDR chipsets from SiS, which is due to launch this week.

Mobos makers say they have been told to expect product in Q4.

It has to be said - even though it counters out original story - that what the mobo companies are saying and what Intel is saying aren't irreconcilable. The PC133 i845 has been shipping for some time, and yet it's not expected to be formally launched until next month (10 September). Shipping the DDR version in Q4 2001 and launching in Q1 2001 is an entirely feasible strategy.

But so it releasing it early, to catch DDR's current oh-so-low prices and take advantage of the performance lead that memory has over PC133. Certainly Intel wants the PC133 version out first, since it wants to establish the P4 in the low-end of the PC market. But with its support for Rambus all but gone, come October and the arrival of Windows XP and the 2.2GHz P4, the time would be right to reiterate the processor's power at the high end. And, since Intel is now memory-agnostic, that means stressing DDR as well as RDRAM. ®

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