Intel throws RAM gearshift into R

— 5:57 PM on July 25, 2000

And we'll give you a hint; the R doesn't stand for Rambus. Take a look at this link sent in by SuperRob. According to an Intel spokesperson, Intel is backing off its previous statement that it wouldn't manufacture Pentium 4 chipsets for anything but Rambus RAM.

Now Intel has decided to manufacture a chipset using PC133 SDRAM. The article states Intel is "also investigating ways in which the upcoming chipset can be tailored to let PC makers adopt DDR DRAM." It's difficult to say exactly what that means, but it's an interesting development in light of last week's revelation that, as part of its agreement with Rambus, Intel is prohibited from making DDR chipsets for its processors.

It sounds as though Intel is quietly moving at least part of its eggs out of the basket that is Rambus; while Intel cranking out DDR chipsets would allow Rambus to terminate its agreement with Intel, it's likely that Intel wouldn't have a problem with that if the alternative is to have its butt kicked by AMD and DDR RAM.

Intel has already licensed technology necessary for DDR support of its processors to other chipset makers, which many see as a way of doing an end0run around the Rambus agreement. If DDR RAM arrives and performs the way many think it will, I wouldn't expect Intel to miss out on the market for selling DDR chipsets for too long, Rambus agreement be damned.

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