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Micron, Mosel Vitelic settle patent dispute

Peace breaks out but Rambus and Taiwan two worlds apart

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While the share price of Rambus may well have had Wall Street in a twitter for most of this year, the Taiwanese PC industry has pressed ahead with its plans to adopt PC-133 and PC-266 synchronous memory as the one it's going to use. Full stop. At last year's Computex show in Taiwan, Mosel Vitelic, which is the largest memory manufacturer on the island, hit out at the Rambus solution, alluding to a new phenomenon we hadn't come across before, called "cache trashing" (we think he said cache, not cash). That position was underlined by practically every motherboard manufacturer on the island, each of which insisted that PC-133, because it worked, was the technology they would be using. A representative from Acer's module company, Apacer, told us back in June that there were technical problems which meant that the Rambus RIMMs on show would not actually work until the end of the year. Mosel Vitelic has, apparently, stuck to its guns, and just now has announced the release of a 256Mb SDRAM chip to manufacture, claiming it is the first Taiwanese vendor to get to the target. Last week, it announced it would benefit from a technology share with the newly floated Infineon, the former semiconductor division of Siemens. Said Rajit Shah, the firm's VP of worldwide marketing and sales: "Mosel Vitelic's 256Mb SDRAMs products target high-end PCs, network servers and workstation markets. We project to sell several million units of 256Mb SDRAMs in the year 2000. It is important for our sales revenue this year. We have been working closely with major PC makers and chipset makers." And, in the latest news from Taiwan, it appears peace has broken out between Micron and Mosel Vitelic. The companies have just announced that they have settled a legal spat over alleged infringement of patents, and have agreed to cross license their IP on current and future memory technology. Micron, although like many another semiconductor company publicly supports Rambus, has told us that it cannot understand Intel's insistence that the up-and-coming Willamette processor use RIMMs rather than double data rate memory. The firms refused to give details of the deal they have just brokered, saying they are confidential, but did say the agreement puts an end not only to pending, but to anticipated litigation between the two. ® Related Stories Mosel Vitelic announces PC-133 support Computex 99 Coverage Infineon to gift technology to Mosel Vitelic

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