Winbond jumps on Rambus bandwagon

Taiwan's Winbond Electronics Corporation last week became the latest memory maker to sign a licence for Rambus's high-speed memory interface technology.

Winbond will use the Rambus technology in future memory chips, beginning with 128Mbit-equivalent 144Mbit RDRAMs (Rambus dynamic random access memories) scheduled to ship in volume by this year's fourth quarter, the Hsinchu-based company said in a statement.

RDRAMs are expected to start replacing synchronous DRAMs as the main memory in high-end PCs later this year. The Rambus interface will enable peak bandwidth of up to 1.6MB per second, which is up to four times faster than today's SDRAMs.

The agreement is another sign that the Rambus technology is gaining acceptance as the standard interface for next-generation memory chips. Earlier this week, for example, Intel announced plans to invest US$100 million in South Korea's Samsung Electronics Co. Ltd. to accelerate the supply of RDRAMs.

"Winbond will add production capacity in Taiwan, which is important to support the worldwide volume ramp of RDRAMs," said Allen Roberts, vice president and general manager of Mountain View, California-based Rambus' memory technology division, in a statement.

Another Hsinchu-based chip maker, Vanguard International Semiconductor Corp., last year became the first Taiwan-based memory maker to sign a licence for the Rambus technology.

Rambus, which itself does not manufacture any devices, said that it now has signed licencing agreements in place with eight of the world's 10 largest semiconductor makers.

Winbond Electronics, in Hsinchu, Taiwan, is on the Web at http://www.winbond.com.tw/. Rambus, based in Mountain View, California, is at http://www.rambus.com/.

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