It's encouraging to read this. I think focusing on products rather than pursuing a strategy that has Rambus labeled as a "patent troll" is a good direction for the company. I like the statement that there is not much difference between Rambus and ARM. Years ago I think that was true, but in recent years the companies seem to have pursued very different paths. I hope this is a sign that Rambus will indeed be more like ARM as time goes on.
At a recent meeting lunch meeting of licensing executives in Silicon Valley, Rambus was listed as one of the top five non-practicing entities by revenue, so they are definitely seen as a patent, not a product company.
Good move indeed. How ever, emulating an ARM-like business model will take changes to both R&D and marketing for Rambus. Licensing patents vs. Silicon-verified IP does take more R&D investment for the latter.
Rambus has signed some very big deals and achieved some very big settlements over the years.
In general it's patent licensing play would seem to have been successful BUT it is hard to build a relationship with customers through the confrontational legal system AND such settlements are "lumpy" which can be frightening for shareholders.
I think Ron Black has decided that it is better to be collaborative and take a little bit less out of the customers at each licensing bite but win repeat business, just like ARM.
But he also has to decide in which markets to play as a product or service provider and in which markets to be an IP licensor. You can't do both in the same market at risk of competing with your customers.