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Bron: EETimes Semiconductor News

Ik kwam bij EETimes een interessant artikel tegen over Rambus en de hoge produktiekosten van Rambus RIMMs (momenteel zijn die dingen minimaal twee keer zo duur als vergelijkbare SDRAMs):

Several factors are keeping upward pressure on prices, Mailloux said. RDRAM's die size is about 25 percent larger than SDRAM's, and RDRAM chips need more expensive packaging. Inadequate testers have also boosted overall production cost.“The biggest concern among customers is the cost,” said Mailloux. “I don't realistically see how we can sell [RDRAM chips] for less than a 50 percent premium anytime soon.”

[...] To whittle the premium, he said, RDRAM developers are working on reducing the die penalty to 10 percent. Further, he said, as memory vendors travel the production learning curve for the parts and as testers improve, RDRAM chips that run at full speed will become more plentiful. [break] Verder ook wat info over DDR (Double Data Rate) SDRAMs, die o.a. door de nieuwe VIA Athlon chipset ondersteund zullen worden: [/break] For now, Micron is sampling 128- and 144-Mbit RDRAM chips on a 0.18-micron process at $45 each in 1,000-unit quantities. Mailloux said high costs may lead some to consider alternatives like DDR DRAM, which the company is sampling in 64-Mbit densities. “Most of our initial interest for DDR chips is in servers,” he said. “OEMs are concerned about the cost of Rambus where they will [use] gigabytes of memory.”

[...] DDR DRAM technology is similar to SDRAM, thereby simplifying every phase from R&D to manufacturing to test. Mailloux said about 70 percent of the manufacturing stage for DDR chips is the same as for basic SDRAM. Further, he said, the dice are the exact same size, and testing is not significantly different.

“In the long run, DDR should cost about the same as SDRAM,” he said. “We're seeing about a 10 percent premium now.” While most SDRAM chips are tested on 32- and 64-site heads, which offer rapid throughput, current RDRAM test heads hold just eight chips. And the test systems cost several million dollars.

[...] For now, RDRAMs' premium may squeeze them out of consumer PCs, where SDRAMs are expected to dominate. And DDR appears to be the better fit for high-end servers. That could relegate Rambus to the limited market for performance desktops and perhaps to low-end servers and workstations, said Mailloux.

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