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Rambus Completes Its Memory Circle

Rambus took the wraps of a new series of interface cells and services for the next generation of data and graphics memory devices. The technology, released Monday, is used as a bridge between a chipset and memory chips.

The Los Altos, Calif.-based company said it will now support the interface cells for the widely used double data rate memory (DDR1) and the next generation version DDR2 in devices up to 800MHz. The company is also supporting their graphics counterparts GDDR1, GDDR2, and GDDR3 up to 1600MHz data rates. The company's DDR memory controller interface cells are drop-in physical layer (PHY) cells.

Rambus said the cells come in two formats: consumer devices and graphics as well as main memory applications. The interfaces are shipping now for things like digital televisions, PC graphics and set top boxes. The technology will be extended to main memory applications in mainstream PCs and servers soon. The interface circuits are designed for the more popular CMOS processes, such as 90-nanometer, 0.13um and 0.18um, and are available immediately on the TSMC 0.13um process.

The company said it is also offering system-engineering services for those companies that don't want to throw extra money or resources at the problem.

Rambus Director of Product Marketing Rich Warmke told internetnews.com the interfaces are being offered either as a drop-in controller from Rambus or as a 3rd-party "do-it-yourself" kit with I/O pads and delay lock loops (DLLs) that engineers must assemble, integrate and verify on their own.

"It does depend on the customer's schedules because they are hard macros," Warmke said. "Relatively speaking, customers are better off choosing our drop-in option as the do-it-yourself process averages 6 to 9 month to install."

Warmke said the additional offerings make Rambus a one-stop shop for logic and memory interfaces. Rambus currently supports XDR, RDRAM, as well as PCI Express, XAUI, and serial backplane.

The introduction of new products has long been overdue from Rambus, which has been spending much of its efforts in various legal squabbles. Earlier this month, the company filed a $1 billion anti-trust lawsuit against four of its competitors accusing each of conspiracy to drive its RDRAM technology out of the market.

The case stems both from anti-competitive charges lobbied by the U.S. Federal Trade Commission and Rambus' own patent spat with German-based Infineon Technologies, both cases are currently unsettled.

Warmke said the timing of the product launches is unrelated to its legal battles.



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