by Anton Shilov
02/08/2012 | 04:52 PM
Rambus, a technology licensing company, announced today it has signed a patent license agreement with Nvidia Corp. The agreement covers a broad range of integrated circuit products and halts all legal disputes with Rambus. In particular, Nvidia will pay Rambus for a set of industry standards that it has used for free for many years.
The agreement covers the use of technologies that utilize patents which Rambus had acquired throughout its history. Those technologies are used in a broad range of integrated circuit (IC) products offered by Nvidia, but the two companies did not indicate which exactly. In addition, the two companies have settled all outstanding claims, including resolution of past use of Rambus’ patented innovations. The term of this agreement is five years; other details are confidential.
While the two companies did not indicate which technologies will be covered by the agreement, it is known that Rambus accused Nvidia and a lot of other chip designers of infringing patents that belong to Farmwald-Horowitz, Barth-Ware (Barth) (which cover DDR, DDR2, DDR3, mobile DDR, LPDDR, LPDDR2 and GDDR3 memory controllers) as well as Dally (which relate to open industry standards, such as PCI Express, Serial ATA, Serial Attached SCSI (SAS) and DisplayPort) families.
In case all legal disputes between Nvidia and Rambus are now halted, it is logical to conclude that Nvidia agreed to pay the owner of the patents not only for DRAM controller-related industry-standard technologies, but also for other widely used technologies that use inventions once made by William Dally, a current employee of Nvidia, who lost control over the patents that Rambus acquired with the aim to demand royalties from various manufacturers.