LONDON – Crocus Technology Inc., a developer of magnetic RAMs with French origins and Russian financial backing, has announced the acquisition of the MRAM patent portfolio of NXP Semiconductors NV (Eindhoven, The Netherlands).
The patents provide intellectual property rights in multiple geographies across North America, Europe and Asia, Crocus said but the company did not reveal how much it had paid for the package.
"A robust intellectual property portfolio is crucial to building a strong business in competitive technology markets, and this acquisition is the latest step in Crocus' continuing efforts to build an industry leading patent position," said Bertrand Cambou, executive chairman of Crocus (Sunnyvale, Calif.), in a statement.
With this recent acquisition Crocus owns over 100 issued and pending patents in magnetic semiconductor technology covering materials, devices, design and product technology. Prior to the acquisition most of Crocus' patents were developed by Crocus engineers and scientists or resulted from its partnership with Spintec research laboratories based in Grenoble, France.
In May 2011 Crocus announced that it had agreed with Rusnano, the Russian state-controlled nanotechnology investment agency, to a collaborative project with a funding budget of $300 million that includes the creation of an MRAM manufacturing facility in Russia.
Anyone else been actually using MRAM?
I have, and I love the stuff. You can use a little serial MRAM to store the system state, updated with every event and button press, and it just works. You can make controllers with everything in a fast parallel MRAM (Ramtron I think?) and hve it power up instantly doing what it was before - stopping mid-clock even to save power. Nice. Ideal memory.
Very nice, the lawyers are not setting up the competition. I wish one day, these guys will know that patents will not win race. You can have all the patents Appls has and will not still make cool products.
It is undeniable that a patent bubble has come. Like all other bubbles it too will burst. Burst-bubbles will bring in transformation and will give rise to new cycles. Patent system is due for a large scale over-haul in the next decade.
Underlying the over-valuation of patents above their real economic utility, is the fact that modern-day patents are being filed on inventive-steps that have become more and more marginal.
However, as opposed to the real-estate bubble, the upward trend in patent valuations is not as bad as it appears. The prominence of patents as an asset is a sign that the society is putting into use the smallest of technological inventions that come about. It appears, that the technological break-throughs of 1980s and 1990s, are being put into the service of man-kind more than they ever were.
David Patterson, known for his pioneering research that led to RAID, clusters and more, is part of a team at UC Berkeley that recently made its RISC-V processor architecture an open source hardware offering. We talk with Patterson and one of his colleagues behind the effort about the opportunities they see, what new kinds of designs they hope to enable and what it means for today’s commercial processor giants such as Intel, ARM and Imagination Technologies.