Analyst Gartner believes that Rambus, the Intel-backed memory technology that was expected to replace SDRam (Synchronous Dynamic Random Access Memory), will be dead in six to eight months.
Intel had been planning to design its future semiconductor technology exclusively around Rambus memory, and about 18 months ago analysts predicted that it was the future for PC memory, tagged to replace SDRam.
At the Gartner Symposium/ITXpo in Cannes this week, senior analyst Kevin Knox said Rambus will not survive the next six to eight months.
"Rambus is pretty much dead. It only made it into some areas such as high-end workstations, but it is dead for the mainstream PC. It is probably not a wise decision to carry on supporting this technology," he said.
Persistent reports of problems with the manufacture of Rambus, its speeds and high cost, have resulted in a split in the market, with many memory manufacturers backing both Rambus and a faster alternative - Double Data Rate (DDR) memory technology. DDR improves PC performance substantially and does not cost more to produce than the older SDRam technology.
"DDR is very good, and AMD has just announced a chipset based on this technology for its Athlon processors," said Knox.
In addition, earlier this year Intel was forced to withdraw motherboards supporting the new Rambus memory following reports of bugs.
PC vendors have spent millions preparing to launch systems using the boards, based on Intel's 820 chipset, that were designed specifically to talk to Rambus.
Although Intel had originally said it would only support Rambus in the Pentium 4 processor, the company is also believed to be launching a chipset for the processor designed to work with SDRam.
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