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AMD to offer Opteron DDR 2 support ‘later this year’

Next-gen memory volumes to ramp up in Q3, says Intel

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AMD will build support for DDR 2 into its Opteron chip's on-board memory controller later this year.

So claim sources familiar with the chip maker's plans, cited by Xbit Labs.

AMD's public roadmap list three new Opteron families due during the second half of the year: 'Venus', 'Troy' and 'Athens', corresponding to the current 100, 200 and 800 series, respectively. Unlike today's Opterons, they will be fabbed using a 90nm process.

All three are expected sooner rather than later, suggesting DDR 2 support will come early - though AMD may not necessarily disclose its presence; DDR 1 should be supported too - or through an update later in the year.

The course the company takes will probably depend on DDR 2 availability and pricing. Intel has forecast a big ramp in Q3, but prices are still expected to be considerably higher than DDR 1 parts until next year. That suggests AMD may hold back.

Randy Wilhelm, VP of Intel's desktop platform group and general manager of the company's client platform division, told reporters in Taipei this week that Micron, Infineon and Elpida have committed themselves to ramping up their DDR 2 output during Q3. He didn't say what that would do to the discrepancy between DDR 1 and DDR 2 pricing.

Intel's key DDR 2 chipsets, Grantsdale and Alderwood - the Prescott-oriented successors to today's i865 and i875 chipset families - are due to arrive in April. ®

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