Rancho Santa Margarita, CA-- Computer bottlenecks can be caused by synchronous memory buses, which normally run at 66 MHz. A PC-100-compliant SDRAM Dual In-Line Memory Module (DIMM) from Viking Components runs at 100 MHz, which increases computer speed.
The DIMM units are available in 16, 32, 64, and 128 Mbyte capacities and are for use with Intel's soon-to-be-announced line of 100-MHz desktop and server motherboards.
"The PC-100 is a way that people can step into a new generation of high-speed memory technology and improve the performance of their machines," says Finney Gilbert, vice president of worldwide marketing for Viking. "It is peace of mind that what you are producing will work in unison with those products produced by Intel."
However, the advanced speed can also present pitfalls, Gilbert adds. "One of the biggest problems we face is that people will go out and purchase supposedly 100 MHz products, put them in their computer, and the machine only operates at the lowest common denominator, so it will kick it down to 66 MHz," Gilbert says.
One of the ways that Viking Components DIMMs differ from others, Gilbert says, is in their production testing. Viking has teamed with Hewlett-Packard Co. (Palo Alto, CA) to automate the production testing of 100 MHz and faster SDRAM modules. Hewlett-Packard uses the HP 83000 digital test system to automatically production-test the 100-MHz SDRAM modules in 15 seconds per module as part of the partnership between HP and Viking. The test system is augmented by a high-frequency contactor assembly for testing the DIMMs.
"Most of the testers currently out there were not designed to run at 100 MHz. They are based on machines that only have a 66-MHz bus in them, and are not able to put the information out fast enough to simulate a 100-MHz bus," Gilbert says.
The HP 83000 was designed as a characterization tool to be used in the creation of the module to test, Finney adds. It was not designed as a production machine or to handle large product volumes.
Viking took delivery of a handler that automated the HP 83000 to handle the product. The key, Gilbert says, is that Viking has the ability to test and push PC-100-compliant modules to the threshold of the performance they are supposed to perform at.