I never said anything negative about Rambus. They provide patent protection services for these inventors which is valuable and legitimate. That they kept the inventors on the payroll doesn't change the fact that they are a legal services company, not a technology company.
I think that the LED technology is both important to EE Times readers and to the environmentally inclined. Having used CFLs (and not liking the performance, but liking the savings) I am looking forward to LED lighting really taking off. It just needs some funding, solid research/technology and low cost manufacturing. I will look forward with some expectation of good things.
I beg to differ. If you are a technology inventor yourself, looking for a home for your business to grow while getting help to protect your own invetions from your competitors, Rambus might be just the company you may want to talk to. That's exactly what Rambus has done with Jeff Parker and Brian Richardson.
Rambus, to those technology inventors, represented a third option. (they gave up looking for VC money or getting aquired by a bigger company -- instead they came to Rambus)
Rambus could have just bought their patents and become an evil "patent troll," as you imply in our comment.
But instead, they hired the invetor and his team; and created a platform to work with them on their business.
Yes, this is no longer Rambus as we know it as a memory technology bully.
But we do believe that the company is presenting a new business model worth being considered by EE Times readers.
Perhaps EE times should not be covering Rambus anymore. They are not a technology company any more. They are a patent agglomeration and litigation company. As such they should be covered by "Legal Times", not EE Times. Other than Sony, there have been no voluntary customers for Rambus technology since they were dropped by Intel. It is possible that their technology development over the last five years is more for PR than for profit. Clearly, the benefit Rambus can provide these small lighting companies is legal muscle to protect their patents.
Energy efficient LED lighting already has advantages over CFL lighting: reliability, rapid start-up, and cold tolerance. Regardless of all the positive press about CFL, the very slow start-up of bulbs (especially those replacing 75 watt or higher incandescent bulbs), poor performance in the cold, and their ongoing premature failures discourage consumers who replaced existing bulbs. With advances in LED color temperature, all that remains is to manage their heat dissipation and make them cost effective for home use and they'll be winners.
With respect to heat dissipation, the examples seem to have distributed lighting rather than point-source lighting. The use of light guides could also help reduce heat dissipation issues even if the final release area is highly concentrated.
It appears that the initial products will be relatively expensive, high-design lighting. (Not only would high-design products already be expensive (so the cost differential between incandescent and LED lighting would be a less significant fraction of the product costs) but LED lighting--especially with light guides--could allow designers much more freedom in creative expression.) Such targeted marketing should allow the market for LED-based lighting to grow gradually as the technology matures.
(Just stating the obvious.)
LED lighting technology is advancing rapidly, and some of the pictures show the design versatility now possible. I hope that the designs are also affordable, which would speed up adoption. Was there any indication of retail costs? Also, from the pictures, it was difficult to see how they deal with the heat dissipation.
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