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Advanced Micro Devices, who has always been very conservative over DDR2 support, is reported to be considering to skip support of DDR2 SDRAM and jump on the bandwagon of DDR3 or XDR memory later during the decade.

AMD May Jump on XDR, DDR3

“The source also said that AMD might be going its own way by not following Intel with their DDR2 implementations. Instead, the world’s second largest chipmaker may go straight to DDR3 or XDR DRAM in hopes of adopting a better architecture,” CoolTechZone web-site reported.

While some sources have beein mulling about possible DDR2 skip by Advanced Micro Devices for a while now, it is still unclear how AMD plans to skip DDR2 memory without trimming its microprocessors’ performance by 400MHz DDR for at least a year or even more than two. The XDR and DDR3 DIMMs are expected to be mass-produced in the second half of 2006 or even in the second half of 2007 respectively.

Intel Corp., the world’s largest maker of chips used in computers who controls around 85% of processor shipments, does not have plans to deploy XDR memory in foreseeable future possibly because of RDRAM fiasco five years ago. Even having higher share in the processor market than today Intel did not succeed in pushing expensive RDRAM to the mass market in attempt to popularize it, which would pull the prices down. It remains to be seen whether AMD, which commands roughly 15% of x86 chip market, is capable to urge the deployment of XDR memory, a high-speed type of DRAM developed by Rambus, which is unlikely to cost less than massively available DDR or DDR2.

The Socket M2 is set to be introduced across the range of AMD desktop microprocessors, including performance, mainstream and value chips, in the first half of 2006. The chips that will be intended for the Socket M2 infrastructure are currently known under Windsor, Orleans and Manila code-names. Thermal and other specifications for the Socket M2 products are unknown, but it is known that all of such central processing units are to be produced using 90nm silicon-on-insulator fabrication process. The socket is expected to have more than 939 pins.

Advanced Micro Devices did not comment on the story.

AMD to Adopt DDR3 in a Year - Source. Memory Makers Disagree

“The source revealed that AMD could move to the DDR3 standard, assuming it skips DDR2, sometime within the next 12 months,” the web-site suggests.

Infineon, the Munich, Germany-based memory supplier will have DDR3 available for customers to sample around the end of 2006, the company's execs recently said. Theoretically this may indicate that commercial DDR3 production may begin about a year after, in late 2007.

Infineon began to sample DDR2 in March, 2003, about 16 months before the first actual platforms supporting the memory type – Intel’s 915P/G and 925X chipsets – were introduced commercially. By contrast, Elpida and Samsung Electronics commenced testing the DDR2 in mid-2002, nearly two years before commercial launch.

Samsung Electronics announced in mid-February it had made the world’s first 512Mb memory chip which complies to next-generation DDR3 standard and can operate at the speed on 1066MHz. The prototype operates at 1.5V and transfers data at the speed of 1066Mbps. Samsung says DDR3 memory will be made using 80nm process technology; at present the company uses 90nm for DDR and DDR2 SDRAM production.

Samsung quoted market research firm IDC as saying that the first DDR3 DRAMs will be sold in 2006 and that the DDR3 will represent 65% of the entire DRAM market in 2009.

Intel Corp.’s plans included platforms supporting DDR3 memory in 2007, which is likely to catalyze memory makers to arrange commercial manufacturing of DDR3 SDRAM in 2007. Still, some makers may offer DDR3 for non-PC applications, such as networking devices, earlier than Intel proposes a desktop platform with DDR3 support.

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