Interesting revelations are coming out of the Rambus vs Micron and Hynix patent trial in the US.
Anyone who followed the story of the unholy alliance between Intel and Rambus to, apparently, push RDRAM on an unwilling semiconductor industry will find the case interesting.
Intel engineers have alleged that the reason RDRAM did not become mainstream was because the Intel-Rambus relationship was bedevilled by a clause in the contract that gave Rambus the power to block Intel’s processor sales.
The clause obligated Intel to promote RDRAM. However the Intel engineers gave evidence that Rambus’ technology was flawed causing manufacturing delays, and that the contract clause meant Rambus could, by invoking the law courts, put Intel out of business.
The Intel evidence goes some way to eroding Rambus’ claim in the current law-suit that Hynix and Micron conspired to kill RDRAM, by suggesting that the Intel-Rambus relationship wasn’t going to work anyway.
Fighting back, Rambus produced outrageous internal Micron emails suggesting Micron had asked Samsung, Infineon and Hynix to lower DDR prices to scupper the chances of RDRAM establishing itself.
The sage eventually ended with the CEO of Intel at the time, Craig Barrett, walking away from the business arrangement with Rambus saying the Colorado company was trying to ‘impose a tax’ on the DRAM industry.