Rambus will soon release its own branded memory products

By Shawn Knight ยท 8 replies
Aug 17, 2015
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  1. American technology licensing firm Rambus Incorporated has revealed plans to sell branded hardware for the first time ever. It’s a drastic shift in strategy for the 25-year-old company but one it believes is necessary to help repair its tarnished reputation.

    Rambus is a name that longtime PC hardware enthusiasts may remember. In the mid-1990s, the company developed a new type of RAM called Rambus RAM, or RDRAM for short. Intel signed an agreement to use the technology in the late ‘90s but a combination of high prices, manufacturing difficulties, extremely high latencies and undesirable heat output led to its demise in the early 2000s.

    The company’s reputation has taken a hit over the years due to its licensing business model. The idea of developing technologies that could then be licensed to chipmakers was novel at the time but it didn’t fly with many hardware makers.

    Rambus ultimately sued a number of memory makers for patent infringement, a tactic that landed the company in the same boat as patent trolls. CEO Ronald Black told The Wall Street Journal in 2013 that his company isn’t a patent troll; Rambus’ efforts to clear its name by settling disputes with major memory makers in recent years seems to back up those claims.

    The company on Monday introduced RB26, a R+ DDR4 server memory chipset for RDIMMs and LRDIMMs. As the first product in a family of R+ chips, Rambus describes the RB26 as an enhanced JEDEC-compliant memory module chipset designed to accelerate data-intensive applications including real-time analytics, virtualization and in-memory computing with increased speed, reliability and power-efficiency.

    It is currently sampling the chipset to potential customers and ecosystem partners and will be demonstrating its server DIMM chipset at the Intel Developer Forum starting August 18 in San Francisco.

    While Rambus isn’t shutting down its licensing business, it’s refreshing to see the company finally produce a branded product. If successful, it could open an entirely new chapter for the embattled memory specialist.

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  2. Squid Surprise

    Squid Surprise TS Evangelist Posts: 1,559   +706

    I was one of those people who had RDRAM in my PC.... it was awesome :)

    Ran faster than that crappy "SDRAM" and my PC was awesome.... then all that legal stuff happened... and now you don't really have any choices in memory.... Here's hoping that we get some innovation going on this scene :)
  3. SuperVeloce

    SuperVeloce TS Booster Posts: 133   +34

    It wasn't as awesome as you might think... prices were absurd, you needed dummy dimms, heat spreaders were a must for everyone, latency was a killer and so on... you had no choice then, if you went with intel, you were locked to RDRAM. Even when DDR made it obsolete, intel was still pushing it until they had no choice (amd was a real competitor back then). Even in 2015 when controllers are integrated on cpu, you'll still get a choice for skylake between ddr3/ddr4
  4. wiyosaya

    wiyosaya TS Evangelist Posts: 1,918   +750

    Personally, I think it is amazing that RAMBUS is still around. My bet is that no chip manufacturer will give them their business and perhaps this will finally kill the zombie.

    If what was going around back in the day is true, that RAMBUS attended JEDEC meetings then ran to the patent office to patent the ideas from the JEDEC meeting, then they are the epitome of patent trolls. Of course their execs are going to deny it.

    Most tech sites back in the day had it spot on about RDRAM. It was cr^p for a multitude of reasons.
  5. axiomatic13

    axiomatic13 TS Addict Posts: 144   +75

    Dear Rambus,

    Change your name. It remains to be seen if you have stopped your litigious ways but I for one remember the waves you made in the industry well and have not forgotten. You had best change names if you want to make another go at this business.
  6. cliffordcooley

    cliffordcooley TS Guardian Fighter Posts: 9,713   +3,688

    They have been silent long enough to change their ways a dozen times. Whatever it was, get over it. Changing their name will do nothing, as I'm sure you will catch wind of their new name and still hold a grudge.
  7. axiomatic13

    axiomatic13 TS Addict Posts: 144   +75

    It wasn't a grudge. I design servers for a living and RAMBUS shenanigans was screwing up my supply chain.
  8. cliffordcooley

    cliffordcooley TS Guardian Fighter Posts: 9,713   +3,688

    That does sound pretty bad.
  9. lripplinger

    lripplinger TS Addict Posts: 283   +98

    I remember how lame Rambus was. Intel paid the price for using that crap.

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