Intel’s support of Rambus waining again

SV News Service
Santa Clara, Oct 31

In the on-again, off-again support by Intel of the Rambus memory chip technology, Intel is reportedly planning to phase out its Rambus support as early as the first quarter of next year, according to internal Intel memos obtained and published in US electronics trade publication Electronic Buyers News.

Intel, according to the cited document, is planning to first phase out the Direct RDRAM-enabled 820 chipset in the first quarter of next year, and subsequently drop the yet-to-be introduced Intel 850 chipset in the middle of the third quarter. That would leave on the Tehama-E 850-based chip set as a Rambus-based board in Intel’s product line. But that board is only used in low-volume, high-end PCs and servers.

The report sank the value of Rambus shares on Wall Street where until now, Intel’s support of Rambus technology has help up the value of the company’s stock. The issue fell $ 8.50 to $ 45.

Intel officials said the conclusion that the company is dropping its support for Rambus is incorrect and that in fact nothing has changed in the company’s position on RDRAMs. “Nothing has changed at Intel regarding Rambus. Our roadmap is that we’ll be supporting Rambus as our primary solution for performance desktop systems–that’s true today and that’s what we see going forward,” said Michael Sullivan, Spokesman, Intel.

He added that Intel has only changed its planned use of Rambus technology. Five years ago, Intel projected that by 2001, even low-end computers would be using the technology. That has not materialized as RDRAMs have proven too expensive to produce for low-end systems. And chipmakers busy meeting demand for regular DRAMs, have not been under pressure to push
RDRAMs.

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