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Codenamed Yellowstone, the technology has been under development at Rambus for two years, according to Rambus president Dave Mooring. By allowing data to be shuttled around more quickly inside a PC, Yellowstone could help older chips keep pace with the faster microprocessors coming to market each month.
Although Rambus would not say when it expects the technology to be released, Mooring said that it is likely to appear first in consumer and communication devices, boosting performance in desktop PCs, notebooks and servers, as well as mobile gadgets.
Yellowstone initially will support data transfer rates of 3.2GHz, although Rambus hopes eventually to push the technology to 6.4GHz, Mooring said. It uses a technology called Octal Data Rate signalling (ODR), which can transfer eight bits of data per clock cycle.
"Trends indicate that microprocessors will end up with memory interfaces on them," Mooring said. "Yellowstone could be the solution for high level 3 cache."
Intel recently said that a key advantage of its 64-bit McKinley processor, which is due out next year, is that it will use an on-chip level 3 cache, something not available on Intel's current 64-bit processor, Itanium.