Kingston extends memory price cuts

Kingston extends memory price cuts

In an effort to ramp up adoption of Intel's Pentium 4 processors, memory manufacturer Kingston Technology will offer system builders a US$60 discount off its RDRAM (Rambus Dynamic Random Access Memory) kits until April 15.

Kingston plans to extend the rebate scheme until the end of May, offering a $30 discount after April 15. The worldwide deal is part of a strategic partnership with Intel to help lower the price point of RDRAM by increasing demand for the product to take advantage of the economies of volume.

"As we add more RDRAM, the cost of production will decrease," Kingston's director of strategic relationships, Stephen Rodriguez said.

The dramatic fall in the price of SDRAM modules in the last six months has highlighted a major stumbing block in the takeup of the new memory technology. RDRAM modules - the memory used with Intel's new Pentium 4 CPU - are three to four times more expensive than its synchronous counterpart. The companies hope to stimulate the takeup of the new memory by addressing this difference.

"It is Intel's intention that the price parity between RDRAM and synchronous memory be around 10 per cent by the end of the year," Rodriguez said.

The move is designed to stimulate new business avenues for the memory manufacturers. Rodrigues predicts the is heading for a flat period, driven by the high availability and affordability of SDRAM modules.

"A year ago 16MB of memory was the sweet spot for PCs. Now we are selling more 128MB modules than anything else," he said.

In the past, Kingston has targeted the upgrade market for most of its business.

"During the allocation period, memory was extremely expensive," Rodriguez said, referring to shortages in the market. "Now lots of systems have 128MB standard so the after market is slowly declining."

Kingston is targeting the large whitebox system builders - a group known as tray custoemers - with the RDRAM offer. Although the company has specifically partnered with Intel, Kingston maintains the company is "technology neutral".

"We are doing things with AMD and Microsoft as well," Rodriguez said.

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