Re: Rambus uppcomeance

From: Robert Harley (
Date: Tue Mar 20 2001 - 16:28:35 PST

Some info about upcoming non-Intel chipsets. Just the bits, ma'am.
This is from realworldtech, a technical site with with none of
tomshardware's anti-Rambus bias.
  "March 2001 Industry Update"

Last month I took a look at the Intel Chipset Roadmap. During the
past few months, roadmaps from VIA, ALi and SiS have been posted in
various places, which I will attempt to summarize here. [...]

In Q2, we can expect to see several chipsets appear that will support
the Tualatin (PIII) processor, including the VIA Pro266T, ALi Aladdin
Pro5 (actually just announced), and SiS 633T and 640T. All of these
chipsets will have DDR SDRAM support. The Pro266T is expected to
include 64-bit PCI support, while the SiS 640T will have integrated
2D/3D graphics. SiS should also have two Athlon chipsets appearing in
Q2: the 740 and 735 chipsets. Both will include DDR SDRAM support,
but the 740 will be an integrated chipset, similar to the 640T. One
highly anticipated chipset is the AMD 760MP, which is scheduled to
finally appear sometime in Q2, according to the official AMD roadmap.

Q3 will be very interesting if the schedules are met, as at least
seven chipsets should be made available. VIA will have the Pro133T
and PL133T chipsets, both supporting the Tualatin using SDRAM, and the
KL266, which will support the Athlon using DDR. Both the PL133T and
KL266 will include a Savage4 graphics controller. ALi expects to have
an Athlon chipset (M1667) and P4 chipset (M1661) available about this
time frame, both utilizing DDR SDRAM. SiS has the 635T (Tualatin) and
645 (P4) chipsets planned. Both chipsets will run with DDR SDRAM (I'm
seeing a major trend here!).

Sometime in the 2nd half of the year, VIA plans to introduce their own
P4 chipset, named the PX266. This will supposedly be a dual P4, DDR
chipset supporting 533MB/s Vlink and 64-bit PCI. It seems to be
targeted towards the server/workstation market. [...]

and further along:

In this environment, anything that allows parts to be produced cheaper
is going to gain support, and DDR SDRAM is definitely one of those
items. It has been stated by experts in memory design and production
that not only can DDR SDRAM be produced on the same product line, it
can actually be supported on the same chip with a little extra
circuitry. Since the determination of whether a chip is SDR or DDR is
in the final weeks of production, not only is this a savings in
production costs, but it has the added benefit of allowing
manufacturers to leave their decision about which memory to produce
until almost the very last minute. This, in turn, means that during
the transition from SDRAM to DDR, manufacturers can react very quickly
to market trends and will have much less exposure to high levels of
inventory. Of course, they will have to get rid of their existing
inventory first...

In looking at the chipset roadmaps this month, the DDR vs. DRDRAM
battle for the desktop seems to be all but over. Intel did reiterate
their devotion to DRDRAM at IDF in February, however this should come
as no surprise. It would be rather stupid for them to claim DRDRAM
has no future when they currently support no other memory on their
platform of the future, and despite whatever other problems they may
have, the people at Intel are not stupid. It has become apparent,
however, that only Intel is sticking with DRDRAM, and with P4 sales
reportedly less than stellar, it is difficult to figure out where the
parts that Samsung is pumping out will be sold - but possibly sales
are much better than what I've been led to believe.

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