Intel has signed a letter of intent to invest $US100 million in Samsung Electronics to speed up the supply of next-generation PC memory chips based on Rambus' high-speed interface technology, the two companies announced last week.
Under the terms of the proposed deal, which is subject to approval by both companies' boards of directors, Intel will acquire convertible bonds exchangeable for common stock representing about 1 per cent of Samsung's outstanding common stock, the companies said in the statement.
Full approval of the transaction is expected by early February, the companies said.
The deal is aimed at accelerating supply of Direct RDRAMs (Rambus dynamic random access memories), which in this year's second half are expected to gradually start replacing SDRAMs (synchronous DRAMs) as the main memory used in PCs.
"With this investment, our goal is to help ensure an adequate supply of Direct RDRAM for the PC market segment over the next few years," said Patrick Gelsinger, Intel's vice president and general manager for the desktop products group.
Intel is expected by June to introduce the Intel 820 chip set, formerly codenamed Camino, with support for Direct RDRAMs which offer as much as four times the data transmission bandwidth of today's 100MHz SDRAMs.