February 27, 2001–Seoul, Korea–Samsung Electronics, a leading supplier of memory devices, and Intel Corp. have entered a strategic relationship aimed at expanding the market for Rambus DRAM (RDRAM), a next-generation, high-speed memory product.
Samsung and Intel will work together to secure the production base required to provide enough Rambus chips to meet the burgeoning demand for Pentium 4-based high-performance workstations and desktop PCs.
Under the terms of the agreement, Intel will support capital expenditure investments that will be used to attain additional component test and qualifying capacity needed to boost RDRAM output. Without ever having to make a separate investment on its own, Samsung will be able to turn out at least 10 million RDRAM a month.
RDRAM demand this year is expected to be around 300 million chips, with 250 million being used in Pentium 4-based PCs and workstations, and another 50 million installed in high-performance game products. Applications for RDRAM are spreading rapidly from the existing PC market to games and other products that require high-speed, high-capacity memory. Given this rapid growth, RDRAM demand in 2002 is forecast to be at least 600 million chips.
In January of 2001, Samsung completed development of a more affordable RDRAM, which is a likely candidate for use as the main memory in the general PC market.
Now that Samsung has finalized this tie-up with Intel, the company will expand monthly output of 128M RDRAM to at least 10 million chips beginning in March. Production will then be doubled to 20 million a month in the second half of this year, giving Samsung at least 50% of the market for the next-generation RDRAM.