Toshiba Licenses Memory Interfaces from Rambus

Rambus and Toshiba Renew License Agreements

by Anton Shilov
03/16/2011 | 04:25 AM

Rambus, a designer of various memory and interface technologies, announced on Tuesday that Toshiba Corp., a large designer of various chips, had licensed various open-standard memory interfaces from Rambus for another five years. Interestingly, but the press release on the matter omits any mention of Rambus' proprietary memory technology.


“We are very pleased to continue our long and valuable relationship with Toshiba, who soon after our founding became Rambus’ first licensee," said Sharon Holt, senior vice president and general manager of the Semiconductor Business Group at Rambus.

This five year agreement covers Toshiba’s products with DRAM memory controllers for SDR, DDR, DDR2, DDR3, and "other" DRAM devices. Rambus will receive royalty payments based on the shipment of these memory controllers.

It is rather noteworthy that Toshiba, which has so far been among the major supporters of Rambus technologies and which was among the first companies to adopt RDRAM and XDR DRAM was not mentioned to have licensed those memory interfaces. Perhaps, they are covered by separate agreements, or perhaps Toshiba wants to gradually phase-out products supporting XDR, including Cell processors (which it will no longer make after it agreed to sell the appropriate fab to Sony Corp.) as well as SpursEngine accelerators. Still, nothing seems to be clear at the moment.

Separately, Toshiba announced that it would cooperate with Tokyo Electric Power Company’s (TEPCO) request to cut electricity consumption by operating only those of its businesses related to provision of essential services required for social and economic activities. This decision extends to Toshiba Group companies and covers production facilities and business premises in areas where TEPCO plans controlled power outages. In line with this decision, Toshiba has closed for today all of its premises in those areas with power outages, other than its headquarters and those business operations related to essential services.