Micron heeft aangekondigd de Samurai DDR chipset te gaan massaproduceren voor de AMD Athlon processor. Het rare is alleen dat een onbekend bedrijf de chipset zal gaan fabriceren terwijl deze in een cross-licensing agreement zit met Intel. Volgens insiders hoopt Micron dat ze Intel alsnog kan strikken om ook de Samurai DDR chipset te gaan ondersteunen.
In a marked strategy shift, Micron Technology Inc. said it now plans to sell its Samurai core-logic chipset under its own label to support the Athlon microprocessor from Advanced Micro Devices Inc.
The double-data-rate SDRAM-enabled chipset will be made by an unidentified foundry that, in an ironic twist, has a technology cross-licensing agreement with Intel Corp. Industry sources said that in addition to supporting AMD's Athlon chips, Micron will authorize the foundry to brand, market, and sell the Samurai under its own label to connect with Intel's desktop Pentium processors. Executives at Micron, Boise, Idaho, last week declined to comment on that aspect of the company's new thrust.
Micron now sees a large potential market for DDR-enabled chipsets, said Dean Klein, vice president of the company's integrated products group. The move is a major departure for the company. On several occasions, Micron said it had no plans to enter the chipset business, maintaining that it would merely promote the Samurai chipset architecture to prime the market for DDR SDRAM.
[...] While Micron is eyeing opportunities in the Athlon arena, the company's foundry partner hopes to tie the Samurai to Intel's Pentium III, according to sources. That could pose a threat to the chip giant, which has steadfastly refused to develop a DDR-enabled chipset for its high-end processor.
According to observers, a maverick Pentium III chipset supplier could undermine Intel's efforts to jump-start support for Direct RDRAM, and would open a second market front against the company, which already is bracing for rival lower-end chipsets that support DDR SDRAM from Taiwanese IC makers Acer, SiS, and Via.