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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