Rambus has souped up its memory technology for graphics processors, leading to better pictures on games consoles and high-end PCs, the company has claimed.

Rambus' XDR technology will be used in Sony's PlayStation 3 and is expected to help the console produce some of the best graphics in the industry. But the company claims to have doubled the data rate of XDR with a technology called, appropriately, XDR2, according to Rich Warmke, its director of marketing.

XDR2 enables data rates in and out of DRAMs starting at 8GHz. That compares to 1.6GHz for high-end memory components such as GDDR3 (Graphics Double Data Rate 3), which is designed to work with graphics processors.

Graphics chips render images by breaking them into small pieces called polygons. The more polygons in a picture, the better the picture. So faster, smoother-running memory is vital if future games consoles are to render more polygons and create more realistic graphics.

Today's memory chips access data through a single path, but with XDR2 Rambus is introducing a micro-threading technology that provides multiple paths, making for greater speed and efficiency, according to Victor Echevarria, product marketing manager at Rambus' Platform Solutions Group.

Hyper-threading is used in some processors to help performance. It is found in some of Intel processors. Rambus first said it was applying the technology to DRAMs in April.

Rambus is looking to license the XDR2 technology now, and is gauging the interest of Samsung, the world's biggest memory chip maker, as well as Toshiba and Elpida.