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Definition: RDRAM

(Rambus DRAM) Pronounced "r-d-ram." A dynamic RAM chip technology from Rambus, Inc., Los Altos, CA (www.rambus.com). Rambus licensed its memory designs to semiconductor companies, which manufactured the chips. Starting in the mid-1990s, RDRAM was used in video games and Windows PCs and competed with DDR SDRAM. Intel was an early champion of RDRAM but began to phase out support in 2001.

RDRAM came in 16-bit (single channel) and 32-bit (dual channel) modules with clock rates from 266 to 800 MHz. It was superseded by Rambus' XDR memory (see XDR).

Metal-Covered Modules
The Direct RDRAM chips used in computers were housed in Rambus Inline Memory Modules (RIMMs) with metal covers. RIMMs used different pin settings and were not interchangeable with DIMMs and SDRAM. See dynamic RAM, SLDRAM and memory modules.

RDRAM memory for computers was easily identifiable by its metal cover that served as a heat sink.