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SIS poo-poos Rambus chipset plan

'Unlikely', at any rate

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SIS has refuted rumours that it's the mysterious Rambus licensee preparing to bring to market an alternative Pentium 4 and RDRAM-based chipset to Intel's 850.

So reports Taiwan's DigiTimes today, but the unnamed company executives it cites are curiously equivocal about the matter suggesting that the introduction of such a product is simply "unlikely".

Hardly a firm denial.

Executive One essentially noted that while SIS might research such a product, its release would depend on the market opportunities open to it. Since you wouldn't expect any company worth its salt to do anything else - it's hardly going to debut a chipset that it knows no one is going to buy, is it? - the executives comments aren't too helpful. But they do suggest that SIS may have considered RDRAM at some point and developed prototypes based around it.

Executive Two, meanwhile, said that the company is unlikely to ship a Rambus-based part in the next 12 months or so because Intel will be upgrading the 850 in that timeframe.

SIS was claimed to have licensed Rambus' RDRAM technology by industry sources cited by CNET. They also said the company would integrate RDRAM with a Pentium 4 chipset. SIS already has a P4 bus licence from Intel.

Suggestions that an unnamed company was preparing such a P4-RDRAM chipset emerged late August. Other P4 licensees that Intel has admitted to are Acer Labs and ATI. The only one that doesn't have a shipping chipset is ATI. That chipset is believed to be codenamed A3. Could A3 be based on RDRAM? As yet we've seen nothing to indicate that it might be, but since ATI will need to differentiate its product from Nvidia's DDR-based nForce, you never know...

We wouldn't rule out SIS on the basis of the executives' comments, but we'll be surprised if it leads to product any time soon. ®

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