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AMD gets Rambus memory help

The Direct Rambus technology allows a processor to communicate faster with memory chips.

Advanced Micro Devices has licensed Direct Rambus, a high-performance computer memory technology developed by Rambus.

Direct Rambus enables a processor to communicate with memory chips at speeds up to 1.6 gigabytes per second. By comparison, conventional memory technology in today's high-end PCs allow a peak bandwidth of 800 megabytes per second, half the Rambus speed, said Subodh Toprani, vice president of marketing at Rambus.

In addition, the Direct Rambus interface can deal with memory chip sizes from 32 megabits all the way up to 1 gigabit.

AMD said the licensing deal will help it build configurations from low-end consumer products to high-end corporate "enterprise" computing systems.

Direct Rambus can be used in computer systems' main memory as well as in graphics, multimedia, and communications subsystems, AMD said. Direct Rambus also has applications in consumer electronics equipment.

Many companies have licensed Rambus' memory technology, including Intel, Texas Instruments, IBM, Compaq, Siemens, Fujitsu, and Samsung.