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Kentron unveils Quad Band Memory modules

Geared to 533MHz FSB Pentium 4s

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Kentron turned its double double-data-rate memory technology into a product yesterday with the launch of a line of what it calls Quad Band Memory modules.

QBM essentially takes two regular DDR units, connects them over what Kentron calls an E Bus and synchronises them in such a way that it effectively doubles the memory bandwidth to 4.2GBps. The first chip is synchronised with the host processor's clock - the second is a quarter of a cycle behind it. A field-effect transistor switch takes the data from both chips and sends it out onto the bus as if they were a single unit.

By using DDR memory, QBM will be cheaper and easier to implement than upcoming next-generation memory standards, such as DDR 2. QBM is also geared for today's PCs and their 64-bit, 100/133MHz system buses.

And QBM supports the installation of up to eight modules. DDR 2 is specced to support only two.

Kentron announced two lines of QBM module: the first operates at a 400MHz data rate for a 3.2GBps bandwidth, and the second at 533MHz for 4.2GBps. Both data rates, you'll note, match Intel's Pentium 4 frontside bus speeds, currently running at 400MHz but due to be accelerated to 533MHz next April. Coincidence? We think not. The modules are scheduled to ship sometime during Q1 2002.

Beyond that, Kentron has plans to offer 667MHz modules, for a 5.4GBps bandwidth, round about the time faster DDR333 modules come through in volume. That should happen sometime in 2003 - the following year, Kentron plans to offer 6.4GBps/800MHz modules based on DDR 2 memory. ®

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