MOUNTAIN VIEW, Calif.--Rambus Inc. here today disclosed chip-testing developments with partners to push the speed of Rambus DRAMs to 1,066-MHz speeds, an increase of 33% over current RDRAM products. Rambus claimed the faster memory chips were the first DRAMs capable of transferring data at speeds over 1 gigahertz.
The 1,066-MHz RDRAM is a result of higher-speed testing, which will enable manufacturers to "bin" faster parts from existing 800-MHz RDRAM devices. It remains unclear how quickly 1,066-MHz RDRAMs will become available and at what volumes, although Rambus hinted that significant shipments were not expected until 2001.
Today's announcement--made with a number of Rambus licensees and partners--comes at a time when some analysts are questioning their forecasts for RDRAM shipments, following Intel Corp.'s decision to include PC133 synchronous DRAM support for its upcoming Pentium 4 (see July 28 story).
Mountain View-based Rambus said the initial applications for the faster RDRAM chips will serve consumer, graphics, and communications systems, which can use the Rambus channel on a single device to achieve 2.1-gigabits per second bandwidth. These systems include OC-192 line cards, video consoles, high-definition TVs, set-top boxes, digital video recorders, and sealed box Information appliances.
Samsung Electronics Co. Ltd. and Hyundai Electronics Industries Co. Ltd. in South Korea today both indicated that they were gearing up to offer the 1,066-MHz RDRAM. Cypress Semiconductor Corp. in San Jose said it has worked with Rambus to support the higher-speed memories with a series of Direct Rambus clock generators for consumer and PC markets.
"We are now sampling 533MHz DRCGs Direct Rambus clock generators, which provide full support for 1066-MHz RDRAM-based systems," said Ian Chen, marketing director for Cypress Semiconductor's Timing Technology Division.
Advantest Corp. of Japan is now shipping a 1,066-MHz test cell, which "includes the 64 site T5592 production tester and M6751A microBGA handler," said Gary Fleeman, memory product manager for the company, based in the U.S.
Rambus said a number of licensees and partners are planning support for customers in 2001, including Samsung, Hyundai, Toshiba, NEC, Infineon, Cypress, Integrated Circuit Systems Inc. (ICS), International Microcircuits Inc. (IMI), and Advantest. No projections were given on anticipated volumes of 1,066-MHz RDRAM memories by either Rambus or its partners.