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Price will drive memory choice

DDR will reign

Computer users want fast memory in their PCs, but most don't want to pay a premium for it.

That was the message from this week’s Microprocessor Forum in San Jose, California.

That's the reason Double Data Rate (DDR) memory is destined to outpace other next-generation memory types.

While DDR will probably cost more than today's mainstream PC-133 SDRAM at first, it is expected to reach price parity sometime in 2001.

"All [memory] suppliers will build and ship what we [consumers] want and are willing to pay [for]," observed Desi Rhoden, president and chief executive of the trade group Advanced Memory International,.

Customers have shown time and again what matters most, Rhoden noted: "The bottom line is price. Narrow or wide - it simply must have the lowest price per bit."

While it's been on the market for some time, Rambus memory (RDRAM) - DDR's high-speed memory competition - continues to cost significantly more than SDRAM without showing notable performance improvements.

While he remained remarkably quiet during some obvious jabs at his company, Avo Kanadjian, Rambus vice president of worldwide marketing, did use the panel to point out some of RDRAM's recent design wins in the consumer electronics space.

Of particular note is the use of Rambus in Sony's new PlayStation 2.

While much of today's SDRAM comes in large packages of 128MB and higher, Rambus performance allows manufacturers to use significantly less memory to achieve good performance.

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