Broadcom, Rambus on the Receiving End of Lawsuits

Listing a series of what it said are suspicious actions and possibly deceptive moves by Broadcom, Intel filed its lawsuit against Broadcom, alleging violations of Intel patents.

In its complaint filed in the U.S. District Court in Delaware, Intel alleged that "nearly every aspect of Broadcom's business -- cable products, high-speed networking products, even semiconductor packaging configurations -- violates one or more Intel patents."

Officials at Irvine, California-based Broadcom could not be reached for comment.

Separately, South Korea's Hyundai Electronics and Micron Technologies revealed suits against Rambus, the developer of high-speed memory interface technology.

The dispute stems from attempts by Rambus to collect royalty payments for technology that it claims is used in conventional DRAM chips and on which it holds patents.

Rambus has already faced down Hitachi and Toshiba and won -- both companies agreed to pay Rambus a sum for each chip they produce -- and said it is in talks with all other major DRAM chip makers on similar pacts.

But the suit filed by Hyundai Electronics and its North American subsidiary, Hyundai Electronics America, in the U.S. District Court in San Jose, California, seeks that the court rules that certain patents owned by Rambus are "invalid, unenforceable, and not infringed by any Hyundai products," the companies said in a statement.

In its own statement, Rambus said it had initiated negotiations with Hyundai to license the use of Rambus' intellectual property by Hyundai in SDRAMs (synchronous DRAMs) and DDR (Double Data Rate) SDRAMS. Rambus said Hyundai "abruptly cut off" discussions. Rambus said it is preparing a response to Hyundai's allegations.

Hyundai's suit came a day after Micron Technologies, a major U.S. memory chip producer, filed a similar suit against Rambus in the U.S. District Court in Delaware.

Rambus' claims sent shock waves through the memory chip industry because the technologies used in the chips have been, until now, jointly pooled by the Joint Electron Device Engineering Council and made free to all manufacturers.

(Martyn Williams and James Evans are correspondents for the IDG News Service, an InfoWorld affiliate.)

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