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Intel revisits Rambus memory tech

Could Intel be planning to use the XDR chips alongside its next-gen Nehalem platform?

Intel has signed a research agreement with Rambus to explore possible uses for the company's XDR chips, currently used in the PlayStation 3. The companies have signed a "memorandum of understanding" to work on ways that Intel can use the technology.

What's in it for Intel?

However, it seems that no specific products are currently on the development slate. So what's Intel's potential for gain here? We think it could be for on-board use alongside Intel's next-generation architecture, Nehalem. XDR memory is clocked faster than the equivalent DDR3 memory chips, hence the potential for Intel's interest.

Rambus adds that it will also be investing significantly in the project, indicating that it has a lot to gain from the alliance.

The company will "dedicate certain technology and design resources" to the effort and the evaluation will be done on Intel's silicon process technology. It used a press release to stress that Intel is "only evaluating the technology for possible future uses and has no specific product plans for the XDR memory technology at this time".