STMicroelectronics has signed a comprehensive agreement with Rambus that expands existing licenses between the two companies, settles all outstanding claims, and commits both organizations to explore additional opportunities for collaboration.
The multifaceted agreement gives Rambus access to ST's Fully-Depleted Silicon On Insulator (FD-SOI) process-technology design environment. With this, Rambus will be able to benefit from FD-SOIís reduced silicon geometries and lower power consumption at 28nm and below in its future memory and Interface solutions.
For its part, ST has secured license terms from the Cryptography Research, Inc. (CRI) division of Rambus to make it possible for ST to deploy Differential Power Analysis (DPA) countermeasures and CryptoFirewall core security technology across a wider range of products. DPA is a form of attack that involves monitoring the fluctuating electrical power consumption of a target device and then using statistical methods to derive cryptographic keys and other secrets. DPA countermeasures are used to protect secret cryptographic keys, including those used to secure transactions for banking, identity, pay television, video gaming, smartphones, government, and other applications.
CryptoFirewall cores are complete hardware-based security blocks designed by CRI to protect against a wide range of attacks and tampering techniques. The new terms allow ST to further strengthen the security robustness of its leading-edge set-top box ICs and gateways for multimedia services including PayTV.
In settling all outstanding claims, the agreement also covers STís use of Rambusí patented memory Interface and serial-link innovations.
Seems telling that there has not been a comment to this report. It's certainly good that EE Times recorded the agreement, but the agreement feels like Rambus doesn't get much more than face-saving closure with ST Micro. Rambus does get access to ST's 2xnm node but they seem to have essentially paid for that with future use rights for ST on its memory and interface IP as well as the interesting crypto stuff.
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