Chip market analyst Bert McComas of InQuest Market Research has, once again, revealed deep inside information regarding Intel’s marketing and engineering plans. It appears that Intel will prop up sales of higher-priced Direct Rambus DRAM by giving a $60 to $70 rebate to OEMs for each high-end desktop shipped with a Pentium 4. Additionally, the leaked reports says Intel may link RDRAM to an auxiliary-graphics Z-buffer memory supported by its 815 chipset. This could be interpreted as an effort to fulfill an agreement to make 20 percent of its interface chips support RDRAM, a clause in the original agreement Intel signed with Rambus. Such a strategy would meet the requirement while putting Rambus into “a technological dead-end” while avoiding long-term commitment to the company or its technology.
McComas also says that Intel will maintain excessively high Pentium 3 prices so the aggressively priced Pentium 4 will appear more attractive to the market in light of the company’s real competition, AMD’s Athlon. After the P4 is released, Intel would then lower the price of the recalled 1.13GHz. Then, because of the recall, the P3 line will be retired earlier than previously planned.