Rambus received leaked JEDEC SDRAM data
And Infineon parent once thought about buying Rambus
Rambus was tipped off on the outcome of JEDEC's SDRAM standard-setting meetings by two insiders the memory company codenamed Secret Squirrel and Deep Throat, allowing it to know what was going on inside the organisation even after it had bailed out, Infineon lawyers have said.
Rambus is suing Infineon for allegedly mis-appropriating its intellectual property. The case centres on how much of the SDRAM specification Rambus claims its patents protect were already part of the JEDEC standard-setting process.
That Rambus received information from covert JEDEC insiders was revealed in internal documents presented by Infineon lawyers during a 15 March pre-trial hearing presided over by Federal judge Robert E Payne. Transcripts of that day's hearing have finally been made public.
Infineon claims both moles sent Rambus details of a memory technology called DLL, which was later incorporated into the SDRAM spec., in 1997. Rambus then added DLL technology to a patent amendment it made that same year, ahead of JEDEC's final SDRAM format.
Rambus hasn't denied receiving information from Secret Squirrel or Deep Throat, but its lawyers have said that the company doesn't know where they came from.
Rambus 1997 patent amendment was made to a 1990 patent application that was initially rejected on the grounds that it was too broad and covered too many inventions.
The revelation of the existence of Rambus 'spies', is just the latest twist in a case that has exposed a plan Siemens considered that would involve the company, then Infineon's parent, buying Rambus. That was offered as one of the company's possible moves, which also included licensing Rambus' technology or joining the "Sync DRAM" programme or - in Siemens staffers' words - "support the Japs".
Siemens' plan appears in exhibits presented before the court by Infineon lawyers sent to Germany to locate such relevant information by Judge Payne. You can find copies of the exhibits at Rambusite, here. The site also provides court transcripts and other documents. ®
Rambusite's Rambus vs. Infineon documents