Little SiS shacks up with Rambus

— 12:00 AM on November 6, 2003

I'm not sure what to make of this one. SiS has announced—in not one, but two separate press releases—its R659 chipset for the Pentium 4. This puppy has a quad-channel RDRAM memory controller capable of delivering 9.6GB/s of memory bandwidth. Little SiS cuddles up to Rambus in one of the press releases like so:

November 6th, 2003; Taipei – Silicon Integrated Systems (SiS), the leading supplier of core logic products, today participates the RAMBUS Developer Forum Taiwan (RDF Taiwan), to be one of the key-note and showcase the latest upgrade Rambus memory chipset-SiSR659. Michael Chen, President and CEO of SiS, will deliver the RDF keynote address on " PC market trends, RDRAM memory relative technologies, and SiS' market positions". SiS will also host a joint press conference with RAMBUS®following this forum.

At the RDF Taiwan event, the SiSR659 is the highest performance product in Intel® Pentium® 4 platform. Utilizing a high speed that supports quad channel 1200 MHz RDRAM, the SiSR659 delivers an outstanding 9.6 GB/s of memory bandwidth - making it the fastest chipset on the market today. To support the high speed and capacity of RDRAM, SiS implements the new Advanced Hyperstreaming™ Engine (AHSE) architecture to give the SiSR659 full compatibility with 800 MHz FSB CPUs. The SiSR659 brings overall system operations to an unsurpassed performance level.

[Marketing blather snipped]

"In the world of Desktop PCs, the SiSR659 is truly an accomplishment in combining outstanding performance with elegant architecture." Michael Chen, President and CEO of SiS said:" Going forward, SiS and Rambus will continue developments for Rambus memory products and make further inroads in the advancement of high-performance computing."

I suppose this move gives SiS some claim to technology leadership. It also gives SiS a chipset with 3.2GB/s more memory bandwidth than the Pentium 4's 800MHz front-side bus can sustain. What the R659 doesn't confer is a design win. Neither press release makes mention of a single product based on the R659. Still, if nothing else, this is an intriguing piece of hardware. We'll have to hunt one down and examine it, if we can.
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