SANTA CLARA, Calif. -- In the first DesignCon keynote today here president and chief executive officer of Rambus Inc. painted an optimistic forecast for semiconductors and electronics in general, and of course touted Rambus' IP business model as ideal to produce "one SoC that addresses a broad range of performance levels and price points. "
Hughes said no one should doubt that the semiconductor industry is on a rebound. "For the first time the semiconductor content in systems has broken the 25 percent mark last year," said Hughes, "and the pressure for 'first-time right silicon' has never been higher."
Rambus continues to apply itself to increase that mark.
The company announced it has advanced differential signaling for SoC-to-memory interfaces to a groundbreaking 20 gigabits per second transmission speed and has developed innovations which can extend single-ended memory signaling to an unparalleled 12.8Gb/s.
Rambus, which demonstrates its breakthroughs in memory signaling technology this week at DesignCon 2011, has also extended single-ended memory signaling to 12.8Gb/s. These innovations will enable a seamless transition for memory architectures from single-ended to differential signaling as data rates rise to meet the performance requirements of future-generation graphics and gaming systems, according to Rambus.
In addition the company has renewed its patent license agreement with Panasonic Corp., a five-year agreement that covers Panasonic’s products with DRAM memory controllers for SDR, DDR, DDR2, DDR3, and other DRAM devices. Rambus will receive royalty payments based on the shipment of these memory controllers.
The company reported revenue of $90.9 million for Q4 2010, up 186 percent sequentially from the third quarter of 2010 primarily due to the revenue related to the Elpida, Renesas and Nvidia license agreements.
“2010 was a great year for Rambus. We made tremendous progress, from the continued demonstration of our technology leadership to the execution of our licensing strategy,” said Hughes. “We estimate that the many licenses signed in 2010 may generate as much as $1.3 billion in royalties over the life of the agreements.”
Through its Terabyte Bandwidth Initiative, Rambus has developed key innovations. The latest addition to these innovations, FlexMode interface technology, enables support of both differential and single-ended memory interfaces in a single SoC package design. FlexMode technology achieves this with no additional pins through programmable assignment of signaling I/Os to either data or command/address.
Launched by Rambus in November 2007, the TBI serves as the foundation for future memory architectures that offer increased performance, higher and scalable data bandwidth, area optimization, enhanced signal integrity, and multi-modal capability for gaming, graphics and multi-core computing applications.
"At 22 nm, it takes $140 miilion to design a chip," said Hughes. "We can't afford that and we need a flexible single chip to support multiple configurations."
Earlier this month, Rambus invested into lighting by acquiring Imagine Designs Inc., which it hopes will catapult the IP house into the emerging and fast growing lighting market.