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Rambus announcement to cost DRAM manufacturers

Intel's backing means companies forced to pay royalties to Rambus

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A year ago June 24th 1998 -- a year ago Intel has pressed ahead with its plans for Rambus DRAMs but the move means memory manufacturers will be forced to pay royalties to the firm. Rambus said that it has started to test working DRAM products and that LG Semicon as well as Toshiba are also testing the technology. Speeds of Rambus DRAMs can be as high as 1.6Gb a second, with clock speeds of around 800MHz. But the move means that such companies have to license the technology from Rambus, boosting its revenues but also incurring additional expense for the DRAM manufacturers. The technology will start to appear in mainstream PCs as early as next year, with both Dell and Compaq confirming that they will produce machines which Rambus technology. Roy Taylor, joint MD of Vanguard Microelectronics, said: "This was inevitable. Although DRAM companies were proposing similar technologies of their own, Synclink and DDR were only ever ploys for the manufacturers to reduce the commission they had to pay to Rambus. Like it or loathe it, Intel owns the PC industry and it is committed to Rambus." The MD of a UK DRAM distributor, who declined to be named, said: "DRAM manufacturers are pissed off that they have to pay Rambus royalties, but there's no way they can ignore Intel, so they'll just have to pay." Shares of Rambus rose by nearly 25 per cent to $57.50 on Wall Street, based on the Rambus news. Intel has an equity stake in the company. ®

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