Rambus sugarcoats bitter licensing pill

Offers 400,000 cheapo shares to DRAM companies

In an attempt to encourage memory manufacturers to abandon their plans for alternatives to Direct Rambus (RDRAM), Rambus is offering cheap shares at $10. According to the US reports, options in the shares will be granted to its licensees if they commit to certain, unnamed targets. Currently, DRAM manufacturers pay Rambus two per cent royalties and feel aggrieved at that imposition. At the end of last month, eleven manufacturers pledged their support for DDR (double data rate) memory, on which they pay no royalties. DRDRAM (Direct Rambus) has the support of both Intel and AMD, and looks to be the inevitable winner of the competing standards. Roy Taylor, co-managing director of Vanguard Microelectronics in the UK, said: "They're trying to be nice to people who have no choice in the matter and there will probably be small print that asks them to stop producing DDR and the like". ®

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