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Intel to offer Springdale DDR 2 chipset in 2003

Set to displace Rambus?

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Intel has committed itself to DDR 2 SDRAM technology and will support the specification mid-to-late 2003, according to Japanese site PC Watch.

We're not entirely sure of PC Watch's source - (s)he appears to be close to standards-setter JEDEC, but our translation isn't great. If the source's claims are accurate, Intel will support DDR 2 with Springdale and Springdale-G, two Pentium 4-oriented chipsets the company will launch in Q3 2003.

Various other sources claim that Intel effectively committed itself to DDR 2 in September. For some time, Intel has led the top five companies to promote something called the Advanced DRAM Technology standard. ADT isn't quite DDR 2, but it's close enough, and the two may well be brought together soon in an interim JEDEC spec, the PC Watch article speculates.

DDR 2 could even displace Rambus RDRAM as Intel's preferred high-performance memory technology, according to the report.

JEDEC issued the preliminary DDR 2 specification last summer. Chip makers can begin developing memory chips based on the spec, but full-scale production is unlikely to kick in before Q2 2003. Given the timing, the arrival of a DDR 2 chipset from Intel in Q3 2003 isn't unfeasible.

The so-called DDR II spec describes a 1.8V device running at up to 533MHz - coincidentally (perhaps) the next Pentium 4 frontside bus speed. The spec also covers enhanced DDR I modes at 400MHz and 533MHz for 3.3GBps and 4.3GBps throughput and dubbed PC3200 and PC4300, respectively.

Of course, even if PC Watch's source has provided a genuine Intel roadmap, Q3 2003 is a long way off. There's plenty of time between then and now for Intel to change its mind, depending on the uptake of DDR 2 and what Rambus comes out with in the meantime.

Is it accurate? As PC Watch appears to have redrawn the roadmap - to avoid copyright issues, presumably - it's difficult to be sure, but the other information contained on the site's chart tallies with what we know from other sources. ®

Related Story

Preliminary DDR II spec set

Related Link

PC Watch: Intel will support DDR 2 in 2003 with Springdale (in Japanese)

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