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Monday, August 17, 2015
Rambus To Start Selling Own Server Chips

Tech licensing company Rambus plans to start selling chips under its own brand, a move aimed at reducing its dependence on income from litigation to defend its patents.

Rambus introduced the R+ DDR4 server memory chipset, RB26, for RDIMMs and LRDIMMsi, promising to deliver superior performance and capacity for both the enterprise and data center server markets. The first in a family of R+ chips, the RB26 is an enhanced, JEDEC-compliant memory module chipset designed to accelerate data-intensive applications, including real-time analytics, virtualization and in-memory computing.

Instead of manufacturing the chips itself, Rambus will hire specialists to make them.

"At Rambus, we have a rich history of innovation and expertise in high-speed memory interface design - the introduction of this chipset is a natural progression that enables us to deliver maximum value to the industry," said Dr. Ron Black, president and chief executive officer at Rambus. "Expanding our offer beyond IP into chips with standards-based offerings that feature leading-edge performance and advanced functionality amplifies our growth strategy and furthers our engagement with the market."

The RB26 DDR4 RDIMM and LRDIMM chipset includes a DDR4 Register Clock Driver (RCD) and Data Buffer (DB) that feature:

  • JEDEC DDR4 Compliance: fully-compliant with the latest JEDEC DDR4 RCD and DB specifications at 2666 Mbps with built-in support for future data rates;
  • Advanced I/O programmability and power management techniques allow for broad compatibility and increased efficiency in critical server infrastructures; and
  • Debug and Serviceability: integrated tools and added device flexibility while delivering ease-of-integration and enhanced testability for server OEMs.

The Rambus RB26 R+ DDR4 server memory interface chipset is designed to serve the RDIMM and LRDIMM markets by providing two chips on the DIMM, a RCD (Register Clock Driver) and DB (Data Buffer) chips. The reason that Rambus has gone out of their way goes back to how Rambus is changing as a company and the fact that they are working with their customers to create solutions to problems. That is why Rambus shocked everyone in the industry when they joined JEDEC back in 2014 and started working closely with the JC-40 committee, a major shift in the company’s previous engagement model.

The RB26 is comprised of the two chips but will vary in total amount of buffer chips based on the amount of DRAM chips populated on the DIMM. The RB26 chipset is compliant with the latest JEDEC DDR4 spec at 2666 Mbps and already has built-in support for 2933 Mbps. Rambus says their chipsets exceed JEDEC’s reliability requirements, which means that Rambus is serious about making sure they are selling an enterprise-class product that is superior to IDT and Montage Technology. The RB26 is also designed to work efficiently with frequency-based power optimizations and according to Rambus works without issues at 1.2v as most DDR4 memory does.

Rambus is currently sampling the RB26 and plans to demonstrate it at the Intel Developer Forum, August 18-20, 2015 at Moscone Center in San Francisco.

During the last 10 years, manufacturers not agreeing to pay license fee were sued by Rambus for infringement. Rambus has waged years of patent wars with chipmakers such as Micron Technology Inc, Nvidia Corp and SK Hynix.

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