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NVIDIA Settles with Rambus; New Patent License Agreement Signed

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After everything settled with Rambus getting their key patents invalidated and losing 60% of market value in a single day, NVIDIA finally decided to sit down with Rambus and iron things out about the new, favorable agreement for the company.

Following the survival of the perfect storm for IP troll Rambus Inc, the company is facing new realities in terms of how much can they charge for their valid DRAM and XDR patents, as well as how much they cannot charge for now invalidated core patents, so called "Barth patents".

These three patents were key for winning the infrigement suits against Hewlett Packard, NVIDIA Corporation and threatens numerous other parties (AMD, Intel, STMicroelectronics). In summer of 2010, Rambus won an injunction with the International Trade Commission (ITC) against NVIDIA and the company was forced to settle with Rambus. Furthermore, Rambus lost 60% of its market value after the $4 billion anti-trust lawsuit against Micron, Hynix was thrown out of court.

Following the U.S. Patent and Trade Office (USPTO) decision to invalidate those three patents, NVIDIA was quick to react and in just two weeks, the company ironed out a new agreement with Rambus.

This time around, the new patent license agreement is more unvaforable to Rambus, Inc. The original case attacked NVIDIA products which utilized DDR2 and DDR3 memory, while GDDR memory did not contain any Rambus IP. In our conversations with AMD DRAM design team, we were told that they were "avoiding Rambus IP like the plague, and refrained from talking to Rambus about the memory standard. For as long as there's JEDEC, GDDR task force will remain closed to them."

In conclusion of this article, if any of your friends figures out that this settlement means "NVIDIA will now ship Rambus XDR memory with its future GPUs or SOC's", think twice – the patent license agreement covers DRAM in existing and future products. Just like AMD, our sources at NVIDIA tells us there is "zero interest" to go with an XDR DRAM based design.

Just like "Radeon HD 7970 comes with XDR memory", the upcoming "GeForce goes XDR?" stories have the same value as the recent wave of Kepler "leaks", originating from masters of "imaginative jornalism", pardon students of imaginative journalism/blogism at Lenzfire.

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