Sources in Silicon Valley claim Intel is facing a nightmare glut of P4s, as cannier buyers hold off pending the arrival of the i845 chipset and the associated cheaper memory. The i845, due in the middle of this quarter, will initially allow you to use PC133 rather than RDRAM, and considering the ramifications of that one might speculate that the canniest of canny buyers will simply hold off some more, and wait for DDR.
According to our sources, the P4 inventory could have a severe impact on Intel's Q2 figures, due on 17th July. The i845 with PC133 support may have some impact after that, but tagging geriatric PC133 SDRAM technology onto the P4 can't exactly be what the designers of Intel's 'state of the art' had in mind. Over at Tom's Hardware Dr Tom himself is currently pointing and laughing at this deranged initiative.
The Good Doctor reckons you'd have to be crazy to go for this combo, and points out that i845, P4 and DDR is the obvious solution. DDR support is in the i845 chips Intel is currently shipping to the mobo makers, but the green light for actually using it isn't due until January 2002, for not entirely explicable reasons.
So what happens? Intel runs a murderous price war with AMD, but the lacklustre nature of the 'volume' P4 platform continues to maim P4 sales levels. If that turns out to be the case, the DDR roadmap may get accelerated more than a tad. Oddly enough parts of Intel (or at least the parts that post other people's stories) seem to agree with Doctor Tom. Over at the Intel APAC channel site they're currently running a reprint of a DigiTmes piece which observes that "with the announcement of Intel 845 chipset, which supports PC 133 and DDR SDRAM, and the introduction of 478-pin Pentium 4 processors, Intel was expected to correct its decision to just support to RDRAM." But not yet? ®