Say what you will about Rambus, the firm must have a pretty skilled legal team. Last year alone, the company received a settlement from Hynix and skirted trouble from both the U.S. Federal Trade Commission and the European Commission. What better way to start 2010 than with a fresh and juicy settlement from another memory firm?
As it happens, Samsung has agreed to lay down its arms and pay Rambus quite a bit of cash. The two firms say they have "reached agreement settling all claims between them and licensing Rambus' patent portfolio covering all Samsung semiconductor products including a perpetual fully paid-up license to certain current DRAM products." Translation: Samsung will make an "initial payment" of $200 million, buy up another $200 million worth of Rambus stock, and cough up $25 million each quarter for the next five years. That's $900 million in Rambus' pocket—not bad.
According to iSuppli numbers from last year, Samsung was the world's largest memory maker as of early 2009. Hynix sat in second place, followed by Micron, Elipda, and a few, much smaller players. (Thanks to TR reader neutronbeam0! for the tip.)