Just desserts


— 1:41 PM on November 15, 2000

The week began with Rambus president Dave Mooring's bold proclamation that Rambus DRAM would grab 40% of the memory market within the next three years.

Speaking at the opening of Rambus' Taiwan operation, Rambus president Dave Mooring said the arrival of Chipzilla's Pentium 4 later this month would catapult RDRAM into the forefront of the memory market, where it would become a "core standard", according to Taiwan business daily Commercial Times.

Mooring admitted that RDRAM is too expensive. "But Rambus has found some way to fix the problem," he added, without elaborating.

The "fix" was to come from memory maker Samsung. Oh, my knight in shining armor. Their 0.17 micron initiative looked to improve yields and drive down costs according to this e-inSITE story:
Reaffirming the relationship between the two companies, Samsung Electronics Co. Ltd. is entering mass production of Rambus Inc.’s DRAM (RDRAM) chips. Samsung will be using a “third generation” 0.17-micron design rule which they say improves operation speeds by over 30 percent, producing RDRAM up to 1.066GHz on circuits about 1/600th the size of a human hair. Application of the 0.17-micron design rule means that 25 percent more chips can be made per wafer than was possible with second-generation technology, Samsung said.
But the tables are turning on Rambus, at least in the courtroom. Electronic Buyer's News is reporting that Rambus has been bitch slapped for "judge shopping":
Rambus Inc. was reprimanded for "blatant judge shopping" in an official ruling at the U.S. International Trade Commission and restrictions imposed on the DRAM designer if it ever filed another synchronous DRAM patent complaint at the trade body.

ITC Administrative Law Judge Sidney Harris ruled that when Rambus abruptly withdrew its patent violation case against Hyundai Electronics Industries Co. assigned to him, the company was engaged in "judge shopping" because the firm didn't want him to handle the case. Legal sources said Harris has a reputation for being a tough magistrate and has been known frequently to rule against patents of firms filing complaints.

Holy John Romero! Bad boy, Rambus, bad bad boy. Life has been good for Rambus stockholders up until now but the gravy train had to end sometime. With Intel looking to license their Pentium 4 technology to other chipset makers, the jig may be up for Rambus, finally.
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