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Tuesday, December 10, 2013
Rambus Settles Patent Disputes With Micron

Rambus said Monday that it had signed a patent cross-license agreement with Micron Technology, giving Micron the right to use any Rambus patent to make specified integrated circuit products, including memory.

However, Micron will pay a license fee to Rambus for certain of these memory products after the end of the initial term. The agreement requires quarterly royalty payments to Rambus over the next seven years capped at $10 million per quarter, with a rolling twelve-month cap fixed at $40 million, or $280 million during the initial term. In addition, Micron will have the option to extend the initial term of this agreement for additional renewal periods.

As part of this agreement, the two companies have also settled all outstanding patent and antitrust claims, and the agreement covers both Micron and Elpida products.

The companies did not disclose other terms and details of the agreement.

"This milestone agreement puts years of legal disputes behind both companies and opens doors for future cooperation," said Dr. Ron Black, president and chief executive officer at Rambus. "We continue to focus on developing innovative technology and furthering our more open, collaborative relationship with the broader industry."

"The industry is at an important juncture with the emergence of memory systems and solutions, and Micron is ideally positioned to capitalize on this trend," said Micron CEO Mark Durcan.

Rambus also settled in June with SK Hynix for a $240 million patent licensing agreement, ending a nearly 13-year patent dispute between the two companies over memory-chip technology. Rambus and STMicroelectronics announced soon after that they had reached a new agreement, which would settle outstanding claims and expand existing licenses.

Seperately, Micron today announced the availability of 45nm Serial NOR Flash memory samples in 512Mb, 1Gb, and 2Gb densities with a standard SPI interface.

These new MT25Q SPI NOR devices offer drop-in compatibility with legacy NOR devices, enabling high-density SPI NOR adoption in consumer, automotive, industrial and networking applications.

Micron's MT25Q devices satisfy embedded application requirements with 2 MB/s programming speed. In addition, MT25Q devices offer improved erase performance and 66 MB/s read performance, enabling fast updates and boot performance for embedded systems. The MT25Q family also offers the first serial NOR 2Gb device in a 6mm x 8mm BGA package, which is the smallest package available in the market today.

Micron is offering samples of the MT25Q devices in BGA and SO16W packages.

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