Short for Rambus DRAM, a type of memory (DRAM) developed by Rambus, Inc. Whereas the fastest current memory technologies used by PCs (SDRAM) can deliver data at a maximum speed of about 100 MHz, RDRAM transfers data at up to 600 MHz. In 1997, Intel announced that it would license the Rambus technology for use on its future motherboards, thus making it the likely de facto standard for memory architectures. However, a consortium of computer vendors is working on an alternative memory architecture called SyncLink DRAM (SLDRAM).
RDRAM is already being used in place of VRAM in some graphics accelerator boards, but it is not expected to be used for the main memory of PCs until 1998 or 1999. Intel and Rambus are also working a new version of RDRAM, called nDRAM, that will support data transfer speeds at up to 1,600 MHz.