Rambus Inc. has taken the move to start selling semiconductor chips under its own brand as part of its newly devoted and concentrated effort at reducing the company’s dependence on income from litigation to defend its patents. Rambus is currently working on shipping samples of the chips to potential customers in order to gauge the market.
Since when Rambus opened in 1990, the DRAM technology company has always focused on creation and licensing of technology as opposed to selling the finished chips. Because of this, Rambus is one of the leading frontrunners in holding a number of major DRAM patents. However, this also resulted in many infamous legal fights with DRAM manufacturers over DDR technology. As of late, Rambus has been quiet and slowly falling behind. The company has seen little success licensing further DRAM designs.
This prompted Rambus to explore other avenues to increase revenue. Rambus will be making the transition from an IP licensing business to a true fabless semiconductor firm, designing and selling their own products. Rambus for their part sees a place for themselves in the current DIMM market for supplying the register and buffer chips used for DDR4 RDIMM/LRDIMMs, as DDR4 imposes further limitations in order to reach its greater speeds.
Although Rambus is producing their own DIMM chipsets, they will not be producing their own DIMMs or DRAM. Rather, the company will be offering their chipsets for sale to the DIMM vendors – Hynix, Micron, Samsung, etc. – for those companies to use in building their respective RDIMMs and LPDIMMs.
“Rambus, which started its business 25 years ago as a developer of RDRAM (Rambus DRAM) technology, is returning to its roots in memory technology innovation,”Junko Yoshida, Chief International Correspondent at UBM Electronics explained.
“Seizing the opportunity in a growing market of enterprise servers and datacenters that is screaming for dramatic performance improvements both in bandwidth and capacity, Rambus is rolling out a server memory interface chipset. It’s the first time for Rambus to enter a fabless chip business. With this new chipset, Rambus isn’t [just] pursuing IP licensing it’s known for.”
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Based in Taiwan’s Hsinchu Science and Industrial Park, Macronix is a premier designer and manufacturer of integrated devices for the Non-Volatile Memory (NVM) market—producing a full range of NOR Flash, NAND Flash, and ROM products. Established in 1989, Macronix is the first semiconductor manufacturer to be certified by the Social Accountability International Standard (SA 8000:2001) in Hsinchu Science Park, home to many competing foundries. The company caters to a wide variety of industries with its technologies—computer, telecommunications, consumer, and automotive.
Macronix operates three semiconductor foundries: Fab 1 (focuses on designing niche logic products and 6-inch wafer fabrication), Fab 2 (non-volatile memory products and 8-inch wafer fabrication), and Fab 5 (non-volatile memory products and 12-inch wafer fabrication). Fab 1 outputs 37,000 6-inch wafers per month based on 0.35um to 1.0um technologies. Fab 2 produces 55,000 8-inch wafers per month. Fab 5 yields 20,000 12-inch wafers per month.
Macronix International Co., Ltd. has a long-standing relationship with video game giant Nintendo. In 2001, Nintendo purchased USD$75 million worth of integrated circuit manufacturing equipment to then lease to Macronix. This semiconductor machinery is housed at Fab 2 in Taiwan. Nintendo benefits from this deal by having a completely dedicated facility for manufacturing components for its platforms including the GameCube and Game Boy Advance. In 2011, Macronix’s revenue rose 18% due to deliveries of its niche memory chips in support of the Nintendo 3DS console.
Today, Macronix employs a 4,800-strong workforce and takes in nearly USD$1 billion in revenues. Constantly innovating its core products, Macronix holds 4,500 patents and dedicates 10-12% of its annual revenue to research and development.
ASAP IT Technology is a one-stop shop for Macronix International Co., Ltd. parts. Prospective customers can browse our extensive catalog of both obsolete and in-production Macronix components and assemblies ranging from serial flash products to NOR flash solutions to NAND flash systems. If you are interested in a quote, please contact our friendly sales staff at firstname.lastname@example.org or call toll-free at 1-866-756-8540.