8th November 2007

Intel may be teaming up with Rambus again, this time for XDR

posted by Eric C. in Hardware, Memory |

Rambus has announced that it has signed a memorandum of understanding (MOU) with Intel about the possibility of Intel using Rambus’ XDR technology. A memorandum of understanding seems to basically be an official document that means that two or more companies are maybe thinking about possibly working together. According to wikipedia, an MOU “may not imply a legal commitment” and “in some cases, depending on the exact wording, lacks the binding power of a contract.” Seems pointless but then again the announcement of it’s existence has been reason for news coverage, so I guess it can be useful. According to Digitimes, Rambus stressed “that Intel was only evaluating the technology for possible future uses and has no specific product plans for the XDR memory technology at this time.” Basically meaning nothing may come of this. That may be for the best if it doesn’t come to fruition, as Intel’s last usage of Rambus technology didn’t work out so well for consumers. Rambus was faster in some cases but the ramp up in production of faster speeds was very slow (going from PC800 to PC1066) and the sticks were very expensive in comparison to PC133 and later DDR266. Also, very soon after the standard died the price of ram sky rocketed as most manufacturers stopped making it. Leaving people with otherwise viable computers except for having too little ram, with no option but to buy a new computer since RAM was so expensive it wasn’t worth the upgrade.  XDR has some technologies that, if they work like they should, sound like they could be pretty useful. Also, the Playstation 3 uses XDR RAM, so it is being produced already and Intel chipset motherboards wouldn’t be the only thing memory manufactured would be making XDR RAM for. So hopefully that would help the price of the RAM not be astronomical. With that said, I’d hate for this to be Part II of what happened with Rambus RAM early in the P4′s life.

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