LONDON – European chip vendor STMicroelectronics NV has signed an agreement with intellectual property licensor Rambus Inc. that settles all outstanding litigation between the companies and provides Rambus with access to ST's fully-depleted silicon-on-insulator (FDSOI) process-technology design environment.
As well as expanding cross-licenses between the companies, the agreement also commits them to explore opportunities for collaboration. Although no financial terms or exchanges of money were disclosed under the terms of the deal ST (Geneva, Switzerland) has secured license terms from Cryptography Research Inc. (San Francisco, Calif.), a subsidiary of Rambus, allowing ST to use differential power analysis (DPA) countermeasures and CryptoFirewall IP cores across a wider range of products. The terms allow ST to strengthen the robustness of its ICs for set-top boxes, for home gateways for multimedia services including paid-for television, the company said.
In effect ST has received a license to design cryptographic countermeasures into its digital consumer chips and, in return, Rambus will be able to design future memory interfaces at 28-nm and below using ST's proprietary bulk-CMOS manufacturing process. In settling all outstanding claims, the agreement also covers ST's use of Rambus' patented memory interfaces and serial-link innovations.
Rambus started out a developer of memory interface technology but has subsequently expanded into areas of research spanning cryptography, media, lighting, gaming and graphics.
"While Rambus can now use our revolutionary FDSOI process technology in its designs, ST intends to further enhance the security of our outstanding set-top box ICs and to deploy DPA countermeasures across the whole range of our relevant product portfolio," said Gian Luca Bertino, executive vice president of the digital convergence group at STMicroelectronics, in a statement.
In addition Rambus updates its revenue guidance for the quarter ending June 30, 2013, narrowing the range to $56 million to $58 million from the initial range of $53 million to $58 million.
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