Advanced Micro Devices has announced it has licensed Rambus memory technology and will support Direct Rambus DRAM with core-logic chips for its forthcoming K7 processors.
At the introduction of its K6, AMD offered AMD-branded core-logic chips, designed by VIA Technologies, to demonstrate AMD's commitment to the Socket 7 interface the K6 uses. Enough merchant core-logic chip suppliers support the Super 7 interface the K6 now uses that AMD no longer feels a need to market its own chip set, a company representative explained.
However, AMD will need to provide infrastructure parts such as core-logic chip sets when it introduces its K7 processor, said Richard Heye, vice president of AMD and general manager of the company's microprocessor division in Texas.
The K7 will use Slot A, which is mechanically similar to Intel's Slot 1 but uses the Alpha processor bus, licensed from Compaq. Core logic for the K7 will need to address that bus as well as Direct Rambus DRAM.
AMD is already developing a K7 core-logic chip set, and will introduce versions that support synchronous DRAM or Direct RDRAM, according to Heye. Test devices that implement the memory interface part of the chip are already running at 800MHz, he said.
"Direct Rambus interface technology provides AMD with a high-performance, mainstream, low-risk solution that adds value across AMD's processor product line," said S. Atiq Raza, AMD executive vice president and chief operating officer.
"In addition, this technology offers scalable configurations from low-end consumer products to high-end enterprise computing systems, and economies of scale due to worldwide supply and broad industry support."
Direct Rambus technology will provide 1.6Gbps of peak bandwidth from a single device, and will span multiple generations of DRAM devices, from today's 64MB chips through to future 1GB parts. Planned applications include computer systems, multimedia and graphics, communications systems, and consumer electronics.