Junko Yoshida, Chief International Correspondent at UBM Electronics, says Rambus is entering the fabless chip business with the launch of its server memory interface chipset.
“Rambus, which started its business 25 years ago as a developer of RDRAM (Rambus DRAM) technology, is returning to its roots in memory technology innovation,” Yoshida explained in an EETimes article. “Seizing the opportunity in a growing market of enterprise servers and datacenters that is screaming for dramatic performance improvements both in bandwidth and capacity, Rambus is rolling out a server memory interface chipset.”
As Yoshida reports, the new product is an enhanced-standard DDR4 server memory chipset for RDIMMs (registered dual in-line memory modules) and LRDIMMs (load reduced dual in-line memory modules).
“It’s the first time for Rambus to enter a fabless chip business,” she continued. “With this new chipset, Rambus isn’t [just] pursuing IP licensing it’s known for.”
Indeed, as Ely Tsern, VP and chief technologist for the Memory and Interfaces division told EETimes that Rambus will be engaged in “everything from designing, producing and selling” chips.
“We’ve been in a stealth mode for the last several years. We see it’s the right time for us to grow the company by getting into the high-value chip market,” he confirmed.
Patrick Moorhead, president and principal analyst at Moor Insights & Strategy, told the publication that Rambus’ server memory interface chipset will offer a higher level of performance and quality with an eye toward future memory speeds.
“DDR4 is very technically challenging, and in particular, server vendors and server memory providers need higher capacities with improved performance,” he added.
“[Plus], the most expensive item in big data applications is memory, so the price point is a lot higher than you would imagine… It’s not just one DIMM per server or one chip per DIMM. It could be 8-48 DIMMS per server and up to 9 chips, including buffers per DIMM.”
The new Rambus RB26 DDR4 chipset offers industry-leading performance and margin, complying with the latest JEDEC spec at 2666 Megabit per second (Mbps) and offering built-in support for 2933Mbps. The chipset is currently sampling to key customers and critical ecosystem partners.
In addition, the chipset includes a roadmap with value-added features to support further improvements to system performance and reliability. Rambus will be demonstrating its new RB26 DDR4 chipset at the Intel Developer Forum in San Francisco from August 18-20, 2015.