SANTA CLARA, Calif. -- Intel Corp. will make two new attempts to spur the adoption of Direct Rambus DRAMs in the market. One is by offering a Pentium 4 rebate program. The other effort links the memory chip with its upcoming Almador chip set, which also supports PC133 SDRAM, said market analyst Bert McComas.
Santa Clara-based Intel plans to offer a $60 to $70 rebate to every OEM customer that ships a high-end desktop with Pentium 4 using Direct Rambus memory, according to the latest Intel roadmap report released by McComas, principal of InQuest Market Research Inc., based in Gilbert, Ariz. He said the rebate, intended to get the new processor and Direct RDRAM off the ground quickly, won't apply to existing Pentium III PCs using Direct Rambus memory.
Intel has said it will launch Pentium 4 with its Tehama chip set supporting Direct RDRAM in the fourth quarter.
McComas said the Rambus incentive offer will not apply to a new mainstream d esktop Pentium 4 processor, code-named Northwood, scheduled to appear in mid-2001. Although the Northwood will also use Direct Rambus, Intel won't need rebates to spur its shipments because third-party chip set vendors are expected to support it aggressively with double-data-rate (DDR) chip sets, McComas added.
The same report claimed Intel is considering adding a Direct RDRAM module for auxiliary-graphics Z-buffer memory supported by its Almador chip set. McComas said the Alamdor, in itsintegrated-graphics unified memory architecture (UMA) mode, has a currently unused display-cache Z-buffer. He believed Intel is developing a special Media-Rambus in-line module (M-RIMM) that would boost graphics performance of the integrated UMA mode of the Alamdor.
He questioned the need for the extra M-RIMM buffer for the Alamdor, however, since the chip set also has the capability of alternately using a full external graphics card with extra dedicated memory. He believed the M-RIMM approach could end up being pri ced as high as the external graphics card and memory.
Intel declined to comment for this story. Rambus Inc. in Mountain View, Calif., has not responded.
"Overall 3-D performance will still be limited by the performance lacking in the [Intel] integrated 740 graphics core," the report said.