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Rambus DRAM or RDRAM is a type of synchronous dynamic RAM. Weird things involving patents and the Rambus company happened about RDRAM and RDRAM mainboards.

The Direct RDRAM, hereafter referred to as RDRAM, features an architecture and a protocol designed to achieve high effective bandwidth. The Rambus channel architecture has a single-device upgrade granularity, offering engineers the ability to balance performance requirements against system capacity and component count. The narrow, high-performance channel also offers performance and capacity scalability through the use of multiple channels in parallel. In addition, the validation program created by Intel and Rambus promotes system stability by ensuring that devices and modules conform to published specifications. Although RDRAMs have a low pin count, a single device is capable of providing up to 1.6 GB/sec bandwidth. Memory systems that use RIMMs (RDRAM modules) employ a narrow, uniform-impedance transmission line, the Rambus Channel, to connect the memory controller to a set of RIMMs. Low pin count and uniform interconnection topology allow easy routing and reduction of pin count on the memory controller. While a single channel is capable of supplying 1.6 GB/sec of bandwidth, multiple channels can be used in parallel to increase this number. Systems that use, for example, the Intel 840 chipset have two parallel Rambus channels, and are able to handle up to 3.2 GB/sec.

Providing high bandwidth from a single device also allows memory systems to be constructed from small numbers of RDRAMs. The Sony PlayStation2 uses two RDRAM channels, each with a single RDRAM, to achieve a total of 3.2 GB/sec memory bandwidth.

In order to ensure stability of RDRAM memory systems, design guidelines and a validation program have been put in place that surpass requirements set for previous memory technologies. Intel and Rambus have defined system specs to ensure robustness of RDRAMs and of the channel to the memory controller. In addition, they have created a rigorous validation programs for certification of RDRAMs and RIMM modules.

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