infoTECH Feature

February 08, 2012

Rambus Inks Patent Licensing Agreement with NVIDIA

Premier technology licensing company Rambus (News - Alert), Inc. has signed a patent license agreement graphics processor manufacturer NVIDIA . According to the partners, the agreement covers the use of Rambus patented innovations in a broad range of integrated circuits (ICs).

In addition, the two companies also settled all outstanding claims, including resolution of past use of Rambus’ patented innovations. Although the companies did not provide any financial details regarding the deal, they said that the term of this agreement is for five years.

In a statement, Harold Hughes (News - Alert), president and chief executive officer at Rambus, said, “This is an important license agreement as it settles our differences and allows us to move forward with NVIDIA (News - Alert), the leader in visual and parallel computing.” He added, “Looking forward, we have the opportunity to focus on developing innovative solutions in concert with our licensees to help bring compelling, innovative products to market.”

This week, Rambus acquired privately-held Unity Semiconductor, a memory technology company, for $35 million in cash. As part of this acquisition, the Unity team members have joined Rambus to continue developing next-generation non-volatile memories. The company said that it will expand the breadth of Rambus’ breakthrough memory technologies and will open up new markets for licensing. According to Rambus, the boards of directors of both companies have approved the acquisition and it has been closed.

Sharon Holt, senior vice president and general manager of the Semiconductor Business Group at Rambus, said, “At Rambus, we are creating disruptive technologies to enable future electronic products… With the addition of Unity, we can develop non-volatile memory solutions that will advance semiconductor scaling beyond the limits of today’s NAND technology. This will enable new memory architectures that help meet ever-increasing consumer demands,” noted Holt.

According to Rambus, Unity has developed a novel solid state memory technology as an alternative to NAND in the growing non-volatile memory market. With nine years of development history, Unity’s memory technology, CMOx, has been designed to accelerate the commercialization of the Terabit generation of non-volatile memories, said Rambus. By comparison to NAND, Rambus claims that the devices using CMOx cell technology are expected to achieve higher density, faster performance, lower manufacturing costs and greater data reliability than NAND Flash.

Ashok Bindra is a veteran writer and editor with more than 25 years of editorial experience covering RF/wireless technologies, semiconductors and power electronics. To read more of his articles, please visit his columnist page.

Edited by Rich Steeves

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