VIA is taking a leaf out of Intel's book and - to all intents and purposes - bundling its preferred high-performance memory with its chipsets.
So, what Intel does with Rambus RDRAM, VIA does with DDR. Chipzilla is providing PC OEMs with low-cost - to them, at any rate - RDRAM modules, the idea being that this will ensure they don't limit the availability of Pentium 4-based system because they find RDRAM modules hard to come by.
VIA is essentially doing the same thing with DDR. OEMs will get Micron 128MB DDR DIMMs for $50 - down from around $110 - if they also buy VIA's DDR-supporting chipsets. Micron isn't an exclusive supplier - VIA is planning to extend the deal to products from other DDR SDRAM makers over the next few months.
Indeed, Taiwanese memory maker Nanya is already participating in a similar scheme.
Intel's plan is to position RDRAM as the memory of choice for Pentium 4 systems before it releases its SDRAM-supporting Brookdale chipset in Q3. ®