Rambus fires missive at nVidia over patents

Graphics chipmaker targeted by litigious memory player

Graphics chipmaker nVidia has been warned of a possible patent suit by intellectual property company Rambus, according to filings required by the US' Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC).

"We have received correspondence from Rambus indicating that it believes our products infringe certain patents held by Rambus and requesting that we agree to certain licensing terms, including royalty payments," nVidia said in its quarterly 10-Q report, filed last week.

Rambus, which specialises in computer memory technologies such as Rambus Direct RAM (RDRAM) and standard Dynamic RAM, is currently in lawsuits with chipmakers such as Infineon.

NVidia first noted the correspondence from Rambus in a form filed in late September. Recently Rambus has approached chip companies AMD and Transmeta about DRAM licences. Analysts fear prices for DRAM, the standard memory technology used in PCs, could go up if licences to Rambus become widespread.

NVidia leads the competitive graphics chip market and is supplying Microsoft with core technology for the hotly-anticipated Xbox game console.

See Chips Central for daily hardware news, including interactive roadmaps for AMD, Intel and Transmeta.

Have your say instantly, and see what others have said. Click on the TalkBack button and go to the ZDNet News forum.

Let the editors know what you think in the Mailroom. And read other letters.