Thursday, October 12, 2000
WALKING THROUGH THE VTF2000 CONFERENCE (FROM THE MEMORY PROSPECTUS)
On September 20 and 21, 2000, I had the honor of participating in the VIA Technology Forum 2000 Conference hosted by Via Technologies. This conference was held in Taipei, Taiwan to showcase VIA's commitment to develop an innovative open value technology platform that enables their partners to design, manufacture, and market PCs and Information Appliances that fully harness the unprecedented communications and computing capabilities of the Internet.
The forum was packed with exciting program of keynote speeches, technology track seminars and panel discussions hosted by senior company executives, industry experts and high-level representatives from the VIA’s technology partners. The VIA Technology Forum provided timely and in-depth information and insight on a lot of subjects. Of those, the most up-front topic was DDR memories.
Amount the sponsors were Hyundai, Micron, NEC and Infineon representing the DDR DRAM manufacturers. Microprocessor manufacturers represented included AMD, National and Cyrix. Memory module manufacturing sector was represented by Apacer, Transcend, Smart Modular and Kentron. Motherboard manufacturer included Abit, Lucky Star, Gigabyte, FIC, Acorp and Chaintech. Analyst and industry standard organization included Platform2000 and AMI2.
Reporting on the event
The 2 days event at the Taipei International Exhibit Center included half day of keynote and over 20 sessions of technology presentations. It drew a crowd of over 800 professionals at the opening. The key topics were DDR memory, new chipsets, supporting technologies and motherboard design. We are highlighting only the memory-related sessions here.
At the opening of the VTF2000 conference in Taipei on Wednesday, WenChi Chen, CEO of VIA Technologies pronounced that the Internet world is driving us to new level in computing. We now not only have to work on the computing platform but also have to understand the communication that gets the information there. The pipe will be bigger than the platform itself. The landscape will demand higher memory bandwidth and performance. DDR will be the answer for the next few years. VIA Internet Technology Platform Overview (PDF file size:336KB)
Mike Saddler of Micron Technology came on and declared DDR has won over Rambus as the memory for the mainstream PC. He cited the reasons being "evolution" versus "revolution" and "price issue". He also mentioned the next generation DDR when the data rate is further elevated from 266MHz to 333MHz. DDR Memory Keynote (PDF file size:2.6MB)
Advanced Micro Devices (AMD) also showed their microprocessor roadmap to success. Their Athlon and Duron will have 266Mhz front side bus to take advantage of the DDR266 memory. Their 760 chipset will enable DDR memories plus adding LDT (light data transport) to ease the bus congestion. They have ambitious plans for both the desktop and the notebook market. AMD Microprocessors & Chipsets for 1 GHz and Beyond (PDF file size:119KB)
VIA Technologies also boasted their Apollo Pro 266 chipset support for the DDR memory system. They will have single as well as dual processor support. New "V-Link" bus will support the higher rate communications between the North and South bridges. Eric Chang, Director of Marketing, also explained the working mechanism and the advantages of the new DDR memory Apollo Pro266 High Performance DDR Chipset – Streamlined Data Movement (PDF file size:1MB)
Technical session speaker from Hyundai Electronics continued to emphasize on DRAM technology migrations. "DDR is gaining momentum in wide range of applications" he declared. The presentation included memory roadmap, new applications and also the latest development information on DDR memory. DDR Future Enhancements (PDF file size:650KB)
Bill Boutin, a Senior Marketing Engineer from Smart Modular Technologies, explained the process on validation of new memories. He covered their validation program on the PC133 memories and projected what they need to be doing for the new DDR memory. Their validation program included the DRAM level verification and also the DIMM level verifications. DDR Device & DIMM Validation Program
The VTF2000 was held very professionally. It is not only marketing, but is also very informative. It not only cover technical sessions, it also has on-hand demonstrations of hardware and software. It was indeed an "Information Feast" for the local engineers and industry experts.
By: C Ho
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