Although an adamant supporter of RDRAM with many RDRAM based chipsets in the pipeline, Intel is still open to the use of competing memory technologies for their products. Contrary to popular belief, the world's largest CPU manufacturer is driven by engineering and one of the first principles an engineer follows is to do what makes sense.

There are a number of reasons that RDRAM doesn't make sense for the high-end server market all of which Intel has publicly admitted to and accepted. Thus it should come as no surprise to anyone that today Intel is announcing their return to volume Dual Processor server chipsets with the E7500; a chipset that not only uses DDR SDRAM, but dual channel DDR SDRAM in order to offer just as much (peak theoretical) memory bandwidth as Intel's RDRAM based offerings.

The E7500 announcement also shouldn't be a shock because we've actually reported about the chipset, albeit under a different name, for quite some time. The name Plumas has been floating around for a while and has finally taken form with the E7500. If you'll remember back to our coverage of Comdex 2001 in Las Vegas, we were presented with a handful of Plumas (E7500) based solutions back then which are now almost ready for prime time.

With this week being the beginning of the Spring 2002 Intel Developer Forum there is bound to be quite a bit of discussion about the E7500 chipset, its performance and what it means to server, workstation and desktop markets. This article provide you with a bit of an overview of the E7500 chipset and when I get back to the lab following IDF I will begin testing for our full E7500 review.

Better late than never
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