1.2GHz Athlon, 800MHz Duron out

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1.2GHz Athlon, 800MHz Duron out

Those following the extremely complicated as well as consequential legal struggle between Rambus Inc. and most of the rest of the chip industry will be interested in an update by the Electronic News. Infineon Technologies AG Inc.’s suit claiming to own patents Rambus is basing its technology upon could have real merit and may “break Rambus’ stranglehold on SDRAM and stop it selling its own direct Rambus DRAM (RDRAM) designs.”

Infineon is basing part of its suit on the fact that RDRAM designs rely on a “latch-up protection circuit” that Infineon’s parent company patented in 1988. Infineon alleges that Rambus encouraged RDRAM licensees to use Infineon’s intellectual property without the German company’s permission. According to the writer, such intermingling of ideas is common and are frequently settled by friendly cross-licensing agreements. Rambus, however, has broken the pact by attempting to enforce its specific patents upon the rest of the industry and may now have to account for all the IP it has relied upon without permission.

On the other hand, it is possible, the writer asserts, that the attempt to establish patent rights to thwart Rambus could turn other chipmakers against one another, leaving Rambus in charge.

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