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Hynix Settles to Pay Rambus Royalties

By - Source: Tom's Hardware US | B 17 comments

Rambus has scored itself yet another royalty haul as Hynix has agreed to pay up.

Hynix has settled with Rambus on terms with what is being called a “compulsory license,” or in other words, pay or else. As detailed in the press release: the parties have agreed to royalty rates of 1 percent for SDR SDRAM and 4.25 percent for DDR SDRAM memory devices for net sales after January 31, 2009 and before April 18, 2010. The latter rate applies to DDR, DDR2, DDR3, GDDR, GDDR2 and GDDR3 SDRAM devices, as well as DDR SGRAM devices.

Rambus has also proposed final judgment of $349 million in damages, plus pre-judgment interest of approximately $48 million, which it has been submitted to the U.S. District Court for Northern District of California.

“While the Court still needs to resolve some outstanding issues, we are pleased to have reached agreement with Hynix on a number of terms,” said Thomas Lavelle, senior vice president and general counsel at Rambus. “Our goal as always is to seek fair compensation for the use of our patented inventions, and this agreement will be a significant milestone in pursuit of that goal.”

Rambus is no stranger to the legal side of the industry, and while one chapter is closing, another moves into its place. The memory company is currently also tangoing with Nvidia, which is being sued for its memory controllers for SDR, DDR, DDR2, DDR3, GDDR, and GDDR3 SDRAM.

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  • 0 Hide
    rooket , March 10, 2009 11:27 PM
    Question, is it correct to say that Hynix is the most budget company that exists when it comes to RAM? My Dell laptop shipped with Hynix, it almost made me laugh because I planned on sticking 2 gigs of Corsair in its place anyway. Probably cost Dell next to nothing for 1 gig of Hynix sodimm.
  • 0 Hide
    Spathi , March 11, 2009 1:07 AM
    Hynix make the best RAM
  • 8 Hide
    megamanx00 , March 11, 2009 1:36 AM
    Bah, darn Rambus. They are pretty much just patent trolls, and to make matters worse they were on the committee for standardizing the original DDR standard and went behind everyone's back to patent technology for DDR so they could bleed royalties out of them latter.
  • Display all 17 comments.
  • 3 Hide
    Tekkamanraiden , March 11, 2009 1:39 AM
    I was really hoping rambus would fail at this. I wonder who was keeping them afloat while they did this.
  • 0 Hide
    daft , March 11, 2009 2:33 AM
    TekkamanraidenI was really hoping rambus would fail at this. I wonder who was keeping them afloat while they did this.

    im sure it was just minor lawsuits against small Ram manufactures that have gone the way of the dodo the last few years
  • 0 Hide
    curnel_D , March 11, 2009 4:48 AM
    At this rate, Rambus is never going to fail out of the market. I feel like it's just a group of old excecs refusing to cut their losses after loosing the ram war, with 'maybe' a 20 man team of researchers that try and find 'the next big thing', not to produce like any serious company, but just to lisence. Companies like this are the kind that I always hope deep down that find themselves in a corperate jet 20000 miles above the earth right before a sudden and violent jet engine failure.

    All they do for the market is drive prices up for the average consumer, without providing anything. Anything at all.
  • -2 Hide
    Anonymous , March 11, 2009 5:32 AM
    Rambus is, effectively, an invention company. The focus on product development rather than mass production. The consumer benefits of their lawsuits, however, far outweigh the price hikes associated with
  • 1 Hide
    rooket , March 11, 2009 3:10 PM
    spathiHynix make the best RAM

    I'm guessing this is satire
  • 0 Hide
    hellwig , March 11, 2009 4:27 PM
    oreillc1Rambus is, effectively, an invention company. The focus on product development rather than mass production. The consumer benefits of their lawsuits, however, far outweigh the price hikes associated with

    I would agree with you IF rambus created the technology all by themselves. Instead, they join the committee to create the next RAM standard, secretly introduce patented technology, then once the standard is adopted, say "Surprise, now you all owe us royalties!".

    Anyone remember RDRAM? That was Rambus' next big thing, but was too expensive and was eventually surpassed by much cheaper DDR. RDRAM died EVEN despite being adopted by Intel. If the worlds #1 chip manufacturer ties a whole line of their chips to your RAM, and it still fails, you just suck.
  • 1 Hide
    Blessedman , March 11, 2009 8:31 PM
    They were overly greedy and clearly still are...
  • 0 Hide
    rooket , March 11, 2009 8:31 PM
    Yeah those RDRAM pentium 4's were pathetic, they ran slower than a 1ghz PIII. Don't forget that Nintendo 64 used RDRAM as well and was a mildly successful console.
  • 0 Hide
    mavroxur , March 12, 2009 2:38 AM
    Payday for Rambus! Now, lets troll the patent files some more....
  • 0 Hide
    rooket , March 12, 2009 8:57 PM
    I was just happy when people got sued for price fixing RAM, cheap RAM for everyone now! I got 4 gigs of DDR3 for like 65 bucks, people probably do better than that sometimes :)  4 gigs of DDR2 is what $20 now? lol. I remember spending $35 per megabyte of RAM back in the 90s.
  • 0 Hide
    Spathi , March 20, 2009 2:35 AM
    I'm guessing this is satire

    Nope, they are usually the first to release new stuff, they are the second biggest and much of the expensive rebadged ram is just Hynix or Samsung. Samsung is the largest, but samsung drop the quality of their products and swap out quality once a particular product has got a good review. We have never had any Hynix fail and use 3000 sticks of different brands RAM.

    Most people are just sucked in by marketing and think if they pay more they will get better... often they are just getting older matched ram which has been overclocked, given a new timing table and rebadged. Basically you are paying x00% markup for the matching and label.

  • 0 Hide
    Spathi , March 20, 2009 2:43 AM
    I think most of the fuss about RAM quality started years ago when people started selling faked Hynix RAM, but it is not really a problem if you check the ID's before you buy it (which you should do anyway to match it to you MB).
  • 0 Hide
    rambusince99 , March 20, 2009 10:02 PM
    I don't know why people make comments on this board without fact checking. Rambus did not have patents when attending JEDEC, so it could not have been a "secret." Further, Rambus could not disclose any future patent intentions because that would have rendered their IP public domain. Rambus did not influence JEDEC's direction as Rambus only voted once during its short membership in JEDEC, and even then voted NO. Rambus was cleared of any conduct issues in Hynix v. Rambus by a jury vote of 37-0. What you hear or have come to believe over the years about Rambus is false and has been debunked in a fair court of law.

    Rambus is a "serious" company - surely people here are not saying that an IP company has to actually manufacture to be a "serious" company. Are you then to say that Rambus deserves no patent protection simply because it does not manufacture? Did Thomas Edison actually manufacture phonographs or light bulbs?? Come on! If Rambus' technology was not good, the MM's simply shouild not have used it. If it was good, they should have paid for it. Instead, they conspired to "kill Rambus." Go to to see the damning documents and emails that prove this, and will be the subject matter of the upcoming Antitrust trial against the MM's.
  • 0 Hide
    beanieville , June 20, 2009 6:35 AM
    JEDEC claiming Rambus secretly "fooled everyone" is a joke. You're talking about technology Rambus has that was way ahead of its time..from changing the then 20mhz to 500mhz memory speed. Rambus' chip design was totally novel and mind-bloggling that everyone would have wondered where it came from before JEDEC adopting it. Truth is, all the committee members knew. Most just want to steal from Rambus. It was Toshiba, a customer of Rambus, who encouraged Rambus to join JEDEC. Toshiba knew Rambus had powerful patents and thought Rambus could benefit the industry.

    Besides, it was standard practice that JEDEC members did not have to reveal their patents (but that those patents that get adopted would charge reasonable rates), but Rambus reveal all of theirs (pending patents) anyways.

    Is Rambus the next Qualcomm?