1999 - Intel Corp. will delay, indefinitely, the launch of its 820 chipset,
the second chip delay announced by Intel this week. The 820 chipset is intended
to replace the 440BX chipset currently used with Pentium II and Pentium III
processors. Intel says the 820 chipset will improve overall system performance
by reducing bottlenecks in memory performance and graphic performance. Rambus
(whose memory forms the base for the 820) is currently trying to "resolve several
flaws" in its product.
have been waiting for the 820 chipset for some time, but this latest delay has
caused some (including Compaq and Dell) to put 820-based PC shipments on hold.
The overall market will suffer slightly, but the greater potential impact is
to Intel's reputation. The 820 problem is the second major chip or chip set
problem within a week. (see News Analysis: "Flaw
in Intel Xeon 550 Chips: Shipments Stopped" 9/29/99) Intel has suffered
blows to its credibility in the past (e.g. the infamous "Pentium flaw" a few
years ago), and has always recovered - often coming back even stronger. However,
at some point, systems vendors may look to work more closely with other chip
vendors to have an alternative to the Intel hegemony.
the problems is the growing belief that Rambus memory provides insufficient
performance boost for the premium price being charged. (An 820 chip set system
w/Rambus technology is expected to perform about the same as a 440BX system
with SDRAM, but at a cost of $6/MB for Rambus Dynamic RAM, vs. $3/MB for pre-Taiwan-earthquake
who must to have the latest chip technology will be seriously affected by this
delay those users will obviously have to delay their purchases of 820-based
systems until Intel and Rambus fix the problem(s). For other users, this is
a non-event, because there are other systems available that will fill the need.
In general, users should stick with 440BX based systems due to their low risk
and good performance.