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Rambus and Matsushita Electric Industrial, better known for its Panasonic brand-name, have inked an agreement under which the latter will integrate memory controller for XDR or DDR2 developed by Rambus into the forthcoming chipsets for digital TV-sets.

“The Rambus memory interface family provides us with flexible solutions for both high-volume applications with DDR2 DRAM and best-in-class products with XDR DRAM,” said Hakuhei Kawakami, Director of System LSI Development Division at Matsushita’s Semiconductor Company.

Contemporary DTVs and other consumer-oriented electronics require pretty high memory bandwidth at a cost-effective price point. While currently available DDR and DDR2 memory products allow to provide massive bandwidth, they require a number of memory devices to be implemented in order to offer increased performance. Higher amount of memory devices typically increases manufacturing costs because of larger mainboard and higher number of pins. XDR memory is able to work at rates from 3.20GHz to 6.40GHz, which means that one XDR chip may provide higher bandwidth than a number of 533MHz DDR2 devices. Since XDR memory is likely to be more expensive compared to DDR or DDR2, consumer electronics makers should consider all the pros and cons before implementing XDR.

Rambus is currently the only company to provide DDR memory controller interfaces with an optional performance mode supporting XDR DRAM, providing a two-to-eight times increase in system memory bandwidth. Using this capability, customers can develop a single chip that spans multiple price/performance points depending on which memory type is connected.

Matsushita is the second company to officially announce intentions to use XDR DRAM. Earlier Sony said it would use XDR for its consumer entertainment products, presumably Sony PlayStation 3 console.

Rambus DDR and XDR interfaces support a wide variety of standard CMOS processes from 0.25 micron to 65nm, and are available immediately on a 0.13 micron process. Rambus memory controller interfaces for consumer and graphics applications are available now, and those for main memory applications will be available soon.


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