TOKYO--During a press conference here and around the world, Advanced Micro Devices Inc. today claimed to be the first chip supplier to offer a PC platform supporting double data rate (DDR) memory. The solution includes the AMD-760 chip set and a new Athlon processor with a 266-MHz front-side bus for the highest grade of DDR memory available, according to the company.
The move is part of AMD's efforts to take advantage of Intel Corp.'s backing of the Direct Rambus memory format, which has been plagued with delays in chip sets from Intel and higher costs compared to today's mainstream synchronous DRAMs.
"Fundamentally, DDR memory technology doubles a PC's available memory data transfer rate, at comparable costs to today's SDRAM solutions," said Richard Heye, vice president and general manager of AMD's Microprocessor Division in Austin, Tex. "With DDR memory, a major performance bottleneck is removed, allowing PCs to take advantage of increasing processor frequencies," he added.
The new Athlon processor for DDR support is available in 1-GHz, 1.13-GHz, and 1.2-GHz speed grades, said AMD in press conferences held in Tokyo, Taipei, and Paris today. For quantities of 1,000 units, the 32-bit processor is priced at $385, $506, and $673, respectively for 1-GHz, 1.13-GHz, and 1.2-GHz speeds. The 760 chip set is priced at $39 in 1,000-unit quantities.
AMD said it has worked closely with other companies to support the launch of DDR-based platforms. For example, the Sunnyvale, Calif.-based company said Smart Modular Technologies Inc. of Fremont, Calif., has conducted tests to ensure compatibility and reliability with industry software and standards.
Micron Technology Inc. has also collaborated with AMD, said Mike Seibert, DRAM technical marketing manager for the Boise, Idaho, company. Micron has been an avid supporter of the DDR format. "We are positioning our production capability to support AMD Athlon processor-based DDR platforms with 64, 128, and 256-Mbit DDR technology," Seibert stated.
Other DDR suppliers include Samsung, Infineon, Elpida, Hyundai, IBM, Mitsubishi and Toshiba.
AMD said PC systems featuring its new Athlon processors and DDR technology are available for ordering in the U.S. from Micron Electronics Inc. on the Web (at www.micronpc.com) and from NEC Computers International in Europe. AMD also said other major PC makers--including Compaq Computer Corp.--are also evaluating its processors and DDR platforms for product introductions in early 2001.