Bye Bye Rambus!
A leaked Intel roadmap for 2001 illustrates how the company intends to phase out the perpetual thorn in its side
Intel's contract to help promote Rambus has come under fire lately, even from sources inside Intel as we reported the other day. One of Intel's chief executives has now described it as a gamble that didn't pay off. To compound this, according to Electronic Buyers' News, an industry journal with no qualms about disclosing secret Intel documentation, the company's roadmap for 2001 includes details on exactly how they intend to go about freeing themselves of the troublesome RDRAM jinx. The Pentium III supportive i820 "Caminogate" motherboards will be the first to go, as early as the first quarter, with even the P4's i850 "Tahama" motherboard (which won't launch itself until next month) due to go under the hammer in the third quarter of next year. After that, the only products left using RDRAM will be the ultra-powerful workstation and server chipset Tehama-E, which most end-users have absolutely no reason to buy. This latest leak raises some interesting questions though. Obviously the first is, just what will Intel do to replace the Tehama P4 chipset? All clues point towards the company's own DDR RAM solution, the Brookdale chipset, which will support DDR RAM and SDRAM (albeit not running concurrently). The leaked roadmap indicates Brookdale will replace Tehama 850 sometime next year, and also indicates that the 0.13 micron die-shrink intended for the very latest PIIIs will be supported by the Almador DDR RAM chipset. It's known that Taiwanese motherboard manufacturers Acer, Micron and Via have all been in talks with Intel about developing DDR RAM solutions for its products, and all three are definitely producing AMD 760 motherboards at the moment. One feels now might be a good time to buy some stock in Crucial, Infineon or Micron who are currently some of the only companies offering DDR RAM to the market.