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Intel says Rambus-Tosh deal not final word

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The decision by Toshiba to license DDR (double data rate) memory and SDRAM from Rambus will not necessarily hedge in other memory companies, according to Craig Barrett, CEO of Intel.

Responding to questions in a press conference held after he delivered a keynote speech in Stockholm, Tuesday, Barrett said that the Toshiba deal did not necessarily mean that Rambus would dominate the memory market.

He said: "Toshiba has agreed to pay royalties for RDRAMs, synchronous RAMs and DDR. It's not clear that Rambus has the intellectual collar.

"The DRAM companies are very resourceful and can [create] their own clean room intellectual property."

He said it "remained to be seen" what the other semiconductor firms would do in the wake of the Toshiba settlement with Rambus.

Currently, Hitachi and Rambus are engaged in a legal slogging match, which may take months or years to resolve. Many of the other semiconductor companies are likely to wait for the outcome of that decision.

Barrett also denied that Intel would ever suspend its chipset division.

The marketplace depended on Intel taking the lead in chipsets, he said. "We need to sort out some of the technical issues. We're not moving away from that marketplace. Clearly, the Rambus issue was a little more complicated than we anticipated." ®

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