XDR Memory Still Not Popular, But Rambus Has High Hopes

Stereo 3D to Save XDR DRAM – Rambus

by Anton Shilov
01/31/2010 | 10:55 PM

Over six years after the formal launch of XDR memory the type is still not popular, according to Rambus, the developer of the standard. Apparently, only Sony PlayStation 3, some Cell processor-based products and Toshiba’s latest HDTV utilize XDR memory. But Rambus has high hopes for the memory type particularly on the market of high-end consumer electronics with support of stereoscopic 3D technologies.


“2009 was a great year for XDR memory, thanks to the growing success of the flagship application Sony PlayStation 3. […] In addition, the first XDR DRAM based HDTV arrived on the scene, including Toshiba’s new Cell HDTV on display of this year’s CES,” said Harold Hughes, chief executive officer of Rambus, during the most recent conference call with financial analysts.

At present there are not a lot of applications that utilize XDR memory, but Rambus has been claiming for years that the high-speed memory would become popular. If earlier Rambus said that graphics cards and video game systems were natural candidates to use XDR, then at present the firm claims that stereoscopic 3D Blu-ray players and HDTVs will take advantage of the XDR.

“Stereo 3D requires a lot of computing power and a lot of memory bandwidth and XDR DRAM is an excellent solution. The Toshiba Cell-based TV that Harold mentioned in his earlier remarks can perform on-the-fly conversion of 2D media to 3D, using the power of the Cell Broadband Engine and XDR memory. […] We think XDR memory can play a big role in 3D. It is already doing so and I think it can enable many more 3D-capable products in the future,” said Sharon Holt, senior vice president of licensing and marketing at Rambus.

Rambus recently reported financial results for the fourth quarter and the fiscal year ended December 31, 2009. Revenue for the fourth quarter of 2009 was $30.8 million, up 10.6% sequentially from the third quarter of 2009 primarily due to higher variable royalty revenue. As compared to the fourth quarter of 2008, revenue was down 18.1% primarily due to the receipt of the previously withheld royalties related to the now vacated Federal Trade Commission order in the fourth quarter of 2008. Revenue for fiscal year 2009 was $113.0 million, down 20.7% over the last fiscal year primarily due to the expiration of the Elpida licensing agreement in the first quarter of 2008.