Intel Corp. in the second half of this year will drop its final Direct Rambus DRAMs support in new computer products, it was learned Tuesday at the Intel Developers Forum.
The last RDRAMs used in Xeon workstations will be replaced by new chipsets supporting double data rate (DDR memory).
An Intel workstation roadmap secured by EBN showed a Placer chipset with DDR SDRAMs for dual processor Xeon workstations, and a Granite Bay DDR chipset for uniprocessor Xeon workstations. They will replace the Intel 860 workstationchipset using RDRAM and Intel 850 with RDRAM.
The new Prestonia Xeon processor for servers introduced in January already uses DDR memory, supported either by Intel's own E7500 Plumas chipset or a third party vendor chipset from ServerWorks, Santa Clara, Calif. Intel's desktop and notebook lines since last year have virtually dropped RDRAM in favor of single data rate SDRAM or in January going to DDR memory as well.
Intel will continue using Direct Rambus memory with its network processors. Also, although not new products, the next iterations of its 850 and 860 chipsets, supporting a 533MHz front-side, will support RDRAM when they arrive, probably in the second half of this year.
But when the next generation of workstation DDR chipsets arrive, it will mark the end of a long and torturous episode when Intel tried to mandate Direct Rambus as the next generation memory for the PC and workstation markets.
After a series of embarrassing troubles and lukewarm reception by the PC market, Intel in the last year has reversed course and shifted rapidly to support SDRAM and DDR.
A spokeswoman for Rambus Inc. said she couldn't comment on new Intel workstation chipsets supporting DDR, and referred all questions to Intel.
Intel roadmaps released at IDF also continued to reveal new server processors slated to be introduced in 2004. On Monday, Mike Fister, senior vice president and general manager of the Intel Enterprise Platform group, revealed the existence
of a new Montecito 64-bit processor to be built on the firm's 0.09-micron processes.
A new Intel roadmap introduced at IDF Tuesday disclosed a Nocona
processor for 32-bit servers to succeed Prestonia, also built on a 0.09-micron process.
Montecito and Nocona each reportedly may cover both the multiprocessor servers and dual processor servers with the same chip. Until now separate processor versions were needed for the two main server markets.