Memory technologies will give resellers a headache over the next 12 months as different standards fight for their share of the market.
The technologies waiting to hit the market are PC133 SDRam, an evolution of current SDRam memory technology, and SDRam II which will double SDRam speeds. One key competitor to these technologies is Direct Rambus, which threatens to supersede all existing technologies. SLDRam, or Sync-Link, is also being developed and leaves a confusing number of options for resellers to understand and explain to customers.
Rana Mainee, market planning manager at AMD, said: 'This is a bad year for different technologies to emerge. We already have the year 2000 problem to deal with; a change of platforms; more chipsets coming out; confusion over whether to use Slot 1 or Socket 370, and now all these different memory standards are due to appear.'
Mainee said AMD would be supporting all the future memory technologies and that the channel should be there to advise customers where the market is going to be in six months' time.
But it is understood that chip giant Intel will not follow suit, choosing to place its focus on its own memory standards. Robert Allen, technical engineer at Kingston Technology, said: 'Intel doesn't want anything on its roadmap apart from Rambus.'
However, this could mean trouble for the other technologies according to Sukh Rayat, managing director of Flashpoint, who believes Intel is the company that will call the shots.
'Which memory types are adopted depends on Intel. It will create the standard,' said Rayat. 'Intel will go to Rambus but only when it has the chipset to accompany it, then everybody else will follow suit.'
Rambus is expected to be released in September and will initially cost about 50 per cent more than SDRam.
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