Intel: We are Rambus 'advocates'

Officials for the mammoth Intel have said in the past that Rambus memory technology "is the recipe for performance" for the company's high-end processors, and a company spokesperson on Tuesday said Intel's position has not changed.

Intel restated its position after shares of Rambus stock fell sharply on Tuesday, following rumours that Intel was recalling its support for Rambus memory technology.

According to Intel spokesperson Diana Wilson, the information that spawned the rumours was contained in confidential documents that made forecasts years out, and that it was unfortunate that "such talk could move markets".

"Our position has not changed. We support Rambus dynamic RAM (RDRAM) for premium performance for both the Pentium III and Pentium IV processors," she said.

While equipment manufacturers and motherboard makers that use Intel processors can make up their own minds as to which memory technology to use in their final products, Intel tunes its high-performance processors to work optimally with Rambus memory, Wilson said, which is why the US-based chip maker suggests Rambus.

Wilson said even though Intel also supports synchronous DRAM (SDRAM), "the recipe for performance" will be Rambus.

"The [equipment manufacturer] can opt to put what they want around the processor, but our position is that for most performance desktops, [Rambus] will get the most out of the platform," Wilson said.

She was unable to comment further on the Intel-Rambus relationship.

Intel CEO Craig Barrett last week was quoted as saying the decision by Intel to go with Rambus memory was a mistake. Intel officials said on Tuesday that Barrett did not mean to say Rambus, but was instead referring to Intel's Timna processor, a Rambus-optimised value-class processor that was cancelled before its launch due to problems with a translation hub that would have allowed the Timna processor to operate.

The fix, according to Intel officials, would have pushed Timna beyond the targeted price point.

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