View Full Version : Rambus sues Infineon, Micron sues Rambus

09-05-2000, 02:36 AM
Two recent articles at ZDNet on Micron's and Hyundai's legal actions against Rambus, Inc.

here (http://www.zdnet.com/zdnn/stories/news/0,4586,2621889,00.html) and here (http://www.zdnet.com/zdnn/stories/news/0,4586,2621173,00.html).

A battle royale is shaping up amongst some the industries biggest names with the future of DDR-SDRAM at stake. Excellent coverage of the issues and events at Tom's Hardware Guide. Here's a background article. (http://www6.tomshardware.com/column/00q3/000719/index.html) Note particularly the section on the antitrust movement, which explains in more depth some of the legal arguments that Micron will make in its case.

If you're not familiar with the issues, basically, Rambus, Inc. is claiming that DDR-SDRAM uses technology for which it holds patents and is seeking royalties from companies manufacturing it. The action threatens the establishment of open standards for memory, which is not good. http://www.PCGuide.com/ubb/smile.gif Hitachi, Toshiba, and Oki caved to Rambus's demand, but Infineon said they would fight to the death, so Rambus sued them. It later came out that Hitachi's agreement was only good through the end of the year.

Micron kicked off the counterstrike to lay waste to Rambus's claims once and for all, quickly followed by Hyundai. Taken together with what Tom's article says, it looks like these may be coordinated actions coming from the Advanced DRAM Research initiative.

Intel, who is a member of the ADR, while Rambus is not, is twisting and turning every which way and has even made a deal with Via (who it is also suing for patent infringement - it's just business, folks) to make DDR-SDRAM chipsets for the Pentium 4, lest it be left holding the Rambus bag. So entertaining to watch the gladiators go at it.

Meanwhile, the first motherboard using DDR-SDRAM has been released using an Ali chipset.


[This message has been edited by Samantha (edited 09-05-2000).]

10-25-2000, 01:44 AM
Seems Intel's finally spoken publicly, if briefly, on the debacle (http://www.winmag.com/reviews/systems/column/2000/10/1024.htm) with RAMBUS.

"Intel CEO Craig Barrett told London's Financial Times, 'We made a big bet on Rambus and it did not work out. In retrospect, it was a mistake to be dependent on a third party for a technology that gates your performance.'"

"Barrett continued, 'We hoped we were partners with a company that would concentrate on technology innovation rather than seeking to collect a toll from other companies.'"

Poor Intel is contractually obligated to support RAMBUS in P4.

If RAMBUS has its way, DDR-SDRAM is going to cost us a lot more than it might.