Feeds

Intel investigates Rambus XDR memory

PlayStation 3 tech a possible successor to DDR 3?

Secure remote control for conventional and virtual desktops

Intel is once again exploring Rambus memory technology, this time the memory developer's XDR offering, currently used in Sony's PlayStation 3 games console.

Rambus yesterday announced it had signed a "memo of understanding" with the chip giant to "explore possible uses for... XDR". The company said it will "dedicate certain technology and design resources to the effort and the evaluation will be done on Intel’s silicon process technology".

All of which suggests Intel is quite serious about XDR's possibilities. Nothing's certain, of course, and Rambus was keen to stress to suddenly eager investors that "Intel was only evaluating the technology for possible future uses and has no specific product plans for the XDR memory technology at this time".

XDR is a high-speed memory technology that runs at between 3.2GHz and 4GHz, well in excess of today's DDR 3 memory, and delivering up to 8GB/s of bandwidth. The next generation, XDR 2, is set to clock at up to 8GHz for 16GB/s bandwidth.

The memory technology is coupled with FlexIO, Rambus' XDR-oriented memory bus, though Intel doesn't appear to be interested in that - at least neither Rambus not Intel have said as much explicitly.

Intel has favoured Rambus' memory before, specifically Rambus RDRAM, which it saw as the successor to single data-rate SDRAM. Intel pushed RDRAM hard, only to have cheaper DDR 2 memory win the popular vote and become the standard.

Could XDR be the next step for Intel? It's possible. The company's next-generation chip architecture, 'Nahelem', incorporates an on-chip memory controller. It also introduces a new system bus, QuickPath, so Intel will certainly be interested in memory technologies that can deliver comparable speeds.

DDR is likely to be part of the plan, for backward-compatibility reasons, but Intel may well want fast alternatives too, that it'll pitch as high-performance gaming PCs.

Intel is also working on discrete graphics chips too, don't forget, so even if XDR isn't part of the Nehalem programme - initially or in its subsequent 32nm revision - the Rambus tech could still appeal to the chip giant.

Beginner's guide to SSL certificates

More from The Register

next story
Xperia Z3: Crikey, Sony – ANOTHER flagship phondleslab?
The Fourth Amendment... and it IS better
Don't wait for that big iPad, order a NEXUS 9 instead, industry little bird says
Google said to debut next big slab, Android L ahead of Apple event
Microsoft to enter the STRUGGLE of the HUMAN WRIST
It's not just a thumb war, it's total digit war
Ex-US Navy fighter pilot MIT prof: Drones beat humans - I should know
'Missy' Cummings on UAVs, smartcars and dying from boredom
Netscape Navigator - the browser that started it all - turns 20
It was 20 years ago today, Marc Andreeesen taught the band to play
A drone of one's own: Reg buyers' guide for UAV fanciers
Hardware: Check. Software: Huh? Licence: Licence...?
The Apple launch AS IT HAPPENED: Totally SERIOUS coverage, not for haters
Fandroids, Windows Phone fringe-oids – you wouldn't understand
prev story

Whitepapers

Forging a new future with identity relationship management
Learn about ForgeRock's next generation IRM platform and how it is designed to empower CEOS's and enterprises to engage with consumers.
Why and how to choose the right cloud vendor
The benefits of cloud-based storage in your processes. Eliminate onsite, disk-based backup and archiving in favor of cloud-based data protection.
Three 1TB solid state scorchers up for grabs
Big SSDs can be expensive but think big and think free because you could be the lucky winner of one of three 1TB Samsung SSD 840 EVO drives that we’re giving away worth over £300 apiece.
Reg Reader Research: SaaS based Email and Office Productivity Tools
Read this Reg reader report which provides advice and guidance for SMBs towards the use of SaaS based email and Office productivity tools.
Security for virtualized datacentres
Legacy security solutions are inefficient due to the architectural differences between physical and virtual environments.