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No. of Recommendations: 12
Disclosure up front - Very Very long on the bus.

That said:

1) This is certainly a Gorilla game.
Disruptive technology, open architechture, large market, huge barries to switching.

2) Intel is backing this baby. This was enough for me to bet 45% of the farm on this baby at 80. I forgot to sell at 400.

3) IMHO it really does NOT matter whether or not the speed is needed now, next year, or never. The plain fact is that Intel has imbedded this memory architecture into its chipset. This same chipset does not work well with SDRAM. This is a fact - no more no less. Intel has 2/3 of the market (this is a guess I do not have the exact figures). If you were a memory maker and 2/3 of your market wanted RDRAM what would you ramp up for? Even if DDRAM were better do you really think Intel would redesign Williamette now? This is really a pipe dream for DDR fans.

4) Yes, there is a lawsuit. There are 4 possible outcomes: a) SDRAM and DDRAM are violations of Rambus patents b) DDRAM is a violation of Rambus patents c) Neither of the above d) Rambus patents are worthless due to prior art.

In case of a) Rambus is a HUGE HUGE winner but this is not very likely and would be tied up in court for years and years. In case of d) Rambus is worthless - also not very likely. Remember Rambus was working on 3.2GB memory access when the standard was 64MB or so, 10 years ago. This leaves us with the b) IMHO the most likely or c) a much smaller prospect.
Check out www.dramreview.com for an analysis. If anything, Rambus has been very very adept and Hitachi's countersuit of "monopoly" looks very very weak. Thats what patents are for: to protect the little guy from the likes of Hitachi. Rambus has over 70 patents, not many compared to Micron or Hitachi, BUT I like the patents they have. Who knows what is really going on behind the scenes, but it certainly looks like Rambus is the winner to me.

However, let's assume that DRR is not a violation of Rambus patents. What happens then. Well, if RDRAM is going into 65% of PCs by 2002-2003 by Intel's Roadmap at www.intel.com then it still looks like Rambus is OK.
In fact more than OK, in the long run.

5) Lets look at the value chain: VTSS PMCS SITERA LU MOT LSI TXN SUN all have products supporting Rambus. Thsi is a huge value chain. For an admittedly biased viewpoint, please check out www.rambusite.com. PCs will carry this baby near term, Sun servers and communications will continue the run long term.

6) Competitors: DDRAM - Where is it??? Micron still sampling and has been since December. What will DDR cost? Will it have problems like RDRAM did? Who will use it, in what % of products, and in what timeframe. Intel has a roadmap. What is AMD's roadmap.
Intel has stated DDR for servers only. Sun is using Rambus in its MAJC servers. Maybe RDRAM wins Intel/Dell servers as well. Maybe not.

7) AMD is seeking to hire RDRAM experts. Check out their website. Why is this?

8) RDRAM is expensive. Way way expensive. YET they are selling all they have. You can not judge the price of RDRAM based on the spot market IMHO. Dell is paying nowhere near that price. Price is dropping rapidly, but still not fast enough for me. BUT what will the price of DDR be, if and when it gets here? What will the price of RDRAM be then? What new technology is not more expensive INITIALLY over what it replaced? Price will come down when rampup continues. Production has almost doubled this past quarter. Yet with prices so high it is still selling. What does that say about Rambus royalty revenue?

9) Sony playstation - How big is this?

10) Do you believe Tom's Hardware or SUN, INTC, DELL, MOT, LU, TXN etc, etc, etc. Is Michael Dell an idiot? AMD backers believe he is. RDRAM is the only offering in Dell's precision workstation line. Check it out.

11) Check the recent news on Rambus. Compare independent performance reviews.

12) 50 PC makers have RDRAM offerings. ZERO PC makers have DDRAM offerings. What does the bible say about market share gained/lost in a tornado. Price difference - Forget about SDRAM vs RDRAM spot prices. Look at complete configurations. Price differnece on some models is 150 or less, even on some value PCs.


Are we in a tornado? I leave that up to you to decide!




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