So what is the deal with DDR-SDRAM? Is it going to kill Rambus RDRAM or will there be a friendly coexistence? Well, as usual, it depends on whom you are asking. At the DDR-SDRAM Summit in San Jose, the official launch of the SDR successor, all major chipset, board and graphics chips vendors united behind the new technology. Except Intel and Rambus, of course.
Everybody was there: VIA Technologies, Micron Technology, ALi, AMD, ServerWorks, Transmeta, Infineon, ATI, Nvidia, Samsung, Hyundai MicroElectronics, AMI2, and Mitsubishi. And everybody emphasized their support for DDR-SDRAM, which will bring a major increase in system performance for PC and workstation/server platforms.
In the second half of this year we are going to see quite a few DDR-SDRAM products. AMD plans to introduce their new 760 chipset supporting DDR memory (PC1600/2100). According to AMD, DDR is the most cost-effective solution for PCs and offers the significant benefit of matching processor and memory bandwidth.
VIA Technologies will introduce their first discrete DDR chipset Apollo Pro 2000 for desktop and mobile systems with AMD or Intel processors (single and multiprocessor version). Competitor ALi intends to ship an Aladdin Pro chipset and claims to be the first vendor to offer AMD and Intel DDR chipsets with Direct Intel License for Slot-1 and Socket-370 for the volume PC market. In his presentation, Senior Director of Strategic Marketing, Fred Leung pointed out that ALi's Taiwan channel customers demand DDR-SDRAM and PC OEMs are very interested as well. He also mentioned that for example board manufacturers Aopen, Biostar and Iwill are going to build motherboards that support DDR.
Other Market Uses
Other markets are migrating to DDR-SDRAM as well: networking (server, router, switches), set-top boxes, HDTV, and of course the graphics market. Graphics processor company Nvidia is one of the largest consumers of DDR will continue to push the technology in its graphics chips confirmed Nvidia's Product Manager Bryn Young at the Summit.
The server industry is probably the most memory-hungry market out there. In fact, servers are driving the memory market today: 42 percent of all memory goes into servers, compared to 32 percent in commercial desktops and 19 percent in consumer desktops. For 2001 the forecast for the average memory in 2-way systems is 1.9 GByte, in 4-way systems 3.5 GByte.