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Xbox future may depend on Rambus lawyers

Hubble, bubble, double data rate trouble

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The Microprocessor Report seems to have developed pretty sharp teeth in the 21st Century.

Not only did it cause a furore yesterday, when it pointed out that Athlons at 1.2GHz run faster than Pentium 4s at 1.5GHz, but the same e-newsletter suggests that Microsoft's Xbox will use DDR (double data rate) memory from Micron, one of the three naughty Dramurai currently in litigation with Rambus Ink.

If the reports are correct, it suggests to us that Microsoft may find itself introducing the Xbox right at the time that the court cases between Rambus, Micron, Hyundai and Infineon are in full swing.

And, as we all know by now, Rambus is not the most forgiving of firms, exacting higher licence fees from those that don't accept that DDR and its controllers belong to its own patent portfolio.

The Microprocessor Report newsletter seems pretty certain that the Xbox will use Micron DDR memory, and so the quill pens at Rambus Ink's HQ in Mountain View are probably scratching at the draft of a letter to Redmond as we speculate.

The ironic thing here, of course, is that the Xbox is using Intel chips. And, as we know, Chipzilla is 100 per cent committed to Rambust, isn't it? ®

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