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The exhibit space covers more than 1.7 million net square feet, which is equivalent to 35 football fields. This does not include manufacturers, who exhibit privately off side in large hotel venues or suites. There will be more than 2,700 exhibitors at the show. Last year, there were about 140,000 attendees. For 2008, the figures could be even higher. Reportedly, there were more than 25,000 international attendees last year along with 5,000 members of the press (worldwide).

1530566-2_TE Application Tooling_Crimpers, Applicators, Presses

The exhibit space covers more than 1.7 million net square feet, which is equivalent to 35 football fields. This does not include manufacturers, who exhibit privately off side in large hotel venues or suites. There will be more than 2,700 exhibitors at the show. Last year, there were about 140,000 attendees. For 2008, the figures could be even higher. Reportedly, there were more than 25,000 international attendees last year along with 5,000 members of the press (worldwide).

In a conference call with analysts last month, Intel senior vice president Paul Otellini, who is also co-head of the newly created Intel Architecture Group, reiterated the company's commitment to the Direct RDRAM interface. In the desktop, it's all Rambus memory, at least for the foreseeable future,” Otellini said.

However, the picture being assembled by Intel customers is eerily reminiscent of last year, when an immature Direct RDRAM market and delays to the Intel 820 chipset program caused the company to make difficult-and some say costly-technical concessions.

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Intel, of course, wants to avoid undermining its next-generation platform based purely on cost and availability considerations, observers said, particularly at the Willamette's point of introduction. Intel contends the 3.2-Gbyte/s bandwidth of the Tehama chipset virtually requires Direct RDRAM memory, and the company has designed its chipsets accordingly.

Intel customers say the company is hedging its bets by adding support for cheaper, higher-yield PC600 Direct RDRAM to certain Willamette chipsets. What's more, they say, Intel is adding a single-channel Direct Rambus chipset, the Tulloch, to help move the Willamette and Rambus platform down to the sub-$1,500 PC in 2001. (See related story on page 1.)

Whether Intel will be able to offer the maximum possible performance with its Willamette/Tehama/Direct RDRAM package is largely dependent on the availability of the highest Rambus speed grades. And that's an open question, according to DRAM makers.

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Bob Eminian, vice president of marketing at the San Jose company, said Samsung expects to devote up to 20% of its product mix to Direct RDRAM this year, but that only 20% of Rambus chips now shipping are binned out at 800 MHz. And that's a factor of yields,” Eminian said.

1530566-2_TE Application Tooling_Crimpers, Applicators, Presses

Intel's second concern is that short supplies of Direct RDRAM could restrict the availability of Willamette platforms using the Tehama-and even the lower-end Tulloch-chipsets, observers said.

Jeff Mailloux, DRAM marketing manager at Micron Technology Inc., Boise, Idaho, calculated that for every Direct RDRAM chip the company makes, it loses the ability to make two SDRAM chips because of the die area Direct RDRAM requires. Despite the adverse ratio, Micron said it will make Direct Rambus for customers requesting the chip, but estimated as little as 5% of all production this year would be devoted to the new memory interface.

The ARM925T is a high performance, low power 32-bit RISC processor core for next generation wireless phones,” said RakeshPatnaik, program manager, wireless communications division, Texas Instruments. Physical Compiler enabled us to make atarget performance commitment for the ARM925T to our customers with confidence. Today's announcement marks the delivery onthat commitment.”

Synopsys, Inc.Mountain View, CA www.synopsys.com

Return to Headlines

While Cypress Semiconductor Corp. is not the first PC-centric chip supplier to adapt its broad semiconductor business to address the burgeoning wireless-communications market, its pending acquisition of RadioCom Corp. will add an essential element to the mix: RF engineers.

In the cellular arena, where suppliers are competing for the business of an emerging tier of OEMs, silicon integration-especially in the radio-frequency portion-will win the day, according to market watchers.

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