AMD has quietly released a new range of memory products, recycling in the process the Radeon brand which moves from graphics processing units to memory modules.
According to a product page here, AMD Radeon for systems are "ideally" suited for the company's APU and CPU solutions and have been "tested to the highest industry standards on AMD platforms".
Three different categories are currently on offer, roughly matching AMD's product categorisation: Entertainment, Ultra Pro and Enterprise. Oddly enough, the company is offering only 2GB modules with data rates at 1333.33MT/s and 1600MT/s, with 9-9-9 and 11-11-11 timings for the first two product ranges respectively.
AMD has yet to provide more details for the Enterprise range; it is interesting to note that AMD also sells Radeon Memory for graphics cards and AIB partners, although unlike system memory, you won't be able to buy them through retailers.
It's very unlikely that the memory sold by AMD will behave differently when slotted in an Intel system; indeed we're not even sure that there's any particular advantage these parts will hold over bog standard ones. The modules have already gone on sale in Japan - according to Akiba PC Hotline - where they cost ¥1570 or £12.31 which is roughly 25 per cent more than what a comparable Corsair memory module costs in the UK.
AMD's move into memory brings up three questions; why is AMD even thinking about grabbing some market share in the ultra competitive consumer memory market? As Gareth Halfacree from Thinq posits, it might be because it wants to use unsold inventory and get rid of its excess capacity although with a depressed market, the margins will be wafer-thin.
Will this move prompt Intel to enter the memory market? Potentially as it will also allow Intel to move a step closer to being able to provide a true Intel PC (including wireless connectivity thanks to Infineon and operating system thanks to Meego).
Lastly, will AMD launch more Radeon-branded products? We're not sure because while memory is very close to AMD's core market (CPU, APU, GPU, Chipset), anything else would either dilute the brand or put the company in direct competition with some of its most important partners (e.g. motherboard makers).