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Rambus speeds to take on P4

The company showed its next-generation signalling technology, code-named Yellowstone, at the Rambus Developer Forum in California last week. It will increase the speed of information travelling between any two chips on a circuit board.

The announcement may take the sting out of Intel's release of a chip-set that allows Pentium 4 PCs to use slower, less expensive memory than Rambus chips, a move that could hit Rambus' memory chip sales hard.

The company currently has two signalling technologies, Rambus Signaling Level (RSL) and the Quad Rambus Signaling Level (QRSL), which is twice as fast as RSL. Yellowstone will be another step up for signalling but all three will coexist serving different market segments.

Rambus also reported on the future of its high-bandwidth I/O communications technology, the Rambus Serialiser/Deserialiser (Raser). Raser cells connect chips to chips, or boards to boards, and can speed up data travelling over Wan routers, Fibre Channel, Gigabit Ethernet or Infiniband network interfaces. They come in single, dual and quad-channel configurations, with a quad cell capable of driving up to 12.5gbps in each direction.

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