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Memory technology firm Rambus has extended its legal case against Hitachi by filing an alleged patent infringement case against the firm in a German court. That action is related to a similar case Rambus is pursuing against Hitachi in the US courts, an action which is being vigorously defended by the Japanese manufacturer there, and which has prompted it to allege breaches of American antitrust laws. The latest case would prevent the use of Hitachi SDRAM and DDR memories in the European market, if judges find in Rambus' favour. Hitachi maintains in its counter filing in the US courts that if they find in Rambus' favour, it will affect other large semiconductor manufacturers who use similar technology to make synchronous and double data rate memories. Meanwhile, figures from large semiconductor firms which we have seen reveal that Rambus' efforts to drastically reduce the price of RIMMs may be foiled by the production cost of the memories. Rambus is currently attempting several strategies to bring down the cost of RIMMs, including using technology from Tessera to reduce the price of the packaging needed to dissipate heat from the chips. However, the production costs of memory are as follows. If PC-100 is taken as the benchmark as 100 per cent, PC-133 is also 100 per cent, DDR memory costs 105 per cent to produce, while Rambus memory costs 160 per cent. PC-133 memory uses the same die as PC-100, with most manufacturers shipping the former marked as the latter. DDR (double data rate memory), will ship in PC desktops during the third quarter of this year. While hearts stopped yesterday as Nasdaq shares nosedived, Rambus prices performed their usual acrobatics. The RMBS price dropped by $17 on the day, to close at $246. Later today, Rambus releases its quarterly figures. For more Rambus daily news, readers might also care to check out Rambus Site and also Dram Review. ® Related Story Hitachi's antitrust case against Rambus

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