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An excerpt from the Rambus ruling in April
Rambus may still receive $133M USD opposed to the $307M originally agreed upon, but the company is far from done fighting lawsuits

Earlier this year Rambus won a staggering $307M USD civil award against Hynix claiming the company infringed on its intellectual property.  Specifically, Rambus claimed that Hynix used techniques for producing memory that were proprietary to Rambus.  On Friday morning, Judge Ronald Whyte of Northern District of California overturned this award (PDF).

The latest statement from the court claimed "For the reasons set forth below, plaintiffs' motion for a new trial on the issue of damages is GRANTED unless Rambus files notice with the court within thirty (30) days of this order accepting remittitur of the jury award to $133,584,129 for damages through December 31, 2005."

The focal point for this overturn is due to discrepancies of the actual amount of DRAM sales during the time period Hynix infringed on Rambus IP.  Rambus at this point may either accept the lesser award of $133.6M USD or begin a new trial against Hynix.

Despite the interconnections between Hynix and Rambus, this slew of IP lawsuits are not related to the price fixing sentencing from earlier this year where four Hynix executives were given jail time. Within the past year every major DRAM manufacturer has faced litigation from Rambus, with the exception of the company's primary manufacturing partner Samsung.  Rambus has also filed suits claiming that all of the major DRAM providers artificially manipulated pricing on DRAM to hurt RDRAM sales -- with fairly damning evidence on the company website (PDF) -- again with the exception of Samsung.  On Friday 34 states filed anti-trust suits against most  major DRAM providers claiming the companies colluded to artificially inflate memory pricing, which is illegal in the US. Once again, Samsung was absent from this volley of litigation as well.

More can be seen from the official Rambus Litigation Update page.  The company currently has twelve outstanding major cases to follow.



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RE: I dont get the rambus hate to this day...
By masher2 (blog) on 7/18/2006 8:05:41 PM , Rating: 2
> "wrong. increasing the ram speeds inevitably means more latency"

Err, no. It doesn't work like this at all. Latency is based on clock cycles...and the length of a cycle is the inverse of the operating frequency. Increase the clock rate on a memory module, and the latency decreases. In an exact, perfectly linear manner. Twice the clock rate = half the latency.

What you're thinking of is a different issue entirely. Quite often, you cannot increase the clock rate without relaxing the timings. And that may wind up increasing the overall latency more than what the higher clock yields. Result...more latency.

DDR2 has a higher latency than DDR. But its not due to the higher clock rate, its in despite of it. It has significantly higher timings, a prefetch buffer and additional mux/demux logic...all of which adds latency.

The OP was implying that the normal relationship between clock rate and latency was something special to RDRAMs. It is not...its a basic element of all memory technologies...though the latency is, of course, affected by many other factors besides clock rate.


RE: I dont get the rambus hate to this day...
By emboss on 7/18/2006 9:46:08 PM , Rating: 2
Just one minor clarification about an otherwise excellent post ... IIRC, latency (except for CAS) is actually specified in ns in the SPD data (which makes sense if you think about how RAM works). RAM controllers work at particular clock rate, which requires changing this ns time into clock cycles. Due to this quantization alone, increasing the clock speed (assuming the timings are strictly adhered to) may require an increase in latency (measured in ns).


By masher2 (blog) on 7/19/2006 12:17:13 AM , Rating: 2
> "Due to this quantization alone, increasing the clock speed (assuming the timings are strictly adhered to) may require an increase in latency (measured in ns)."

Exactly so....an excellent point which I was lax to not have mentioned.




By Acanthus on 7/19/2006 3:09:19 AM , Rating: 2
No, what i was saying was that with RDRAM, the timings were static, so the latency was significantly reduced as the clockspeed went up.


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