Let Me Entertain You . . . 2395

If Rambus could sing, it would sound like the guy in Queen’s Bohemian Rhapsody. Outside of killing somebody (which about the evil left Rambus
hasn’t been accused of or done), just about the whole song fits.

The only item in doubt is whether Intel is singing:

Spare him his life from this monstrosity

or is now singing like just about everyone else


Though of course, unlike the song, the death sentence from Intel would be, “Let him go.” 🙂

Recently, there’s been a bit of a stir that Craig Barrett said, “The consumer will decide” the fate of Rambus.

Let’s look at this a bit.

First, when an Intel executive says something negative about Rambus, who says it? Craig Barrett. Who said last year getting involved with Rambus the way Intel did was a mistake? Craig Barrett.

So these words coming out of that particular mouth should come as no surprise to anyone.

He obviously doesn’t like Rambus, and hasn’t for some time. On the other hand, though, Rambus is still around. So this guy’s opinions aren’t law.

What did he say anyway? “Let the market decide.” On the one hand, that’s pretty mealy-mouthed.

On the other hand, the last time Intel said just about the same thing, it was between SDRAM and 820 boards, and you know what happened there.

This one’s a little different, though. When it was SDRAM vs. 820, there was no appreciable difference in performance, and RDRAM cost five times as much. Now there will be a performance difference which will likely be substantial, and while RDRAM costs more, the cost difference isn’t so sickening.

This of course will not matter one bit to those buying $900 PIV boxes, but it may well for those more discriminating. Some clever marketing to different segments might leave Intel with the best of both worlds.

For that higher market; it’s DDR vs. RDRAM. If the rumors are true and the Intel 845 board only handles PC1600 rather than at least PC2100 (or even better PC2700), Intel still isn’t providing a level playing field. Intel doesn’t seem to want to “let the consumer decide” between RDRAM or DDR at all.

Don’t tell me about Via or Ali or SiS. You, Mr. Hobbyist, may buy them, but Mr. Corporate America would still rather go Intel.

The association with Rambus has probably been the biggest blunder in Intel history. If you can think of a bigger one, I sure would like to know it.

Nonetheless, at least some at Intel don’t want to or can’t let go.

Email Ed

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