Toshiba Licenses Chipset Technology For HDTVs - InformationWeek

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Toshiba Licenses Chipset Technology For HDTVs

The Japanese consumer electronics maker plans to implement Rambus' XDR memory controller interface cell and memory controller within HDTV chipsets.

Toshiba has licensed Rambus' high-speed memory technology for use in chipsets for high-definition TVs, the companies said Monday. Financial terms were not disclosed.

The Japanese consumer electronics maker plans to implement Rambus' XDR memory controller interface cell and memory controller within HDTV chipsets built with Toshiba's 65 nanometer manufacturing process. The XDR architecture operates at 4.8 Gbps for image processing.

HDTVs require as much memory bandwidth as PCs in order to deliver advanced features, Hideki Moriyama, deputy general manager at Toshiba's semiconductor company, said in a joint statement. "With the XDR memory architecture, we are able to achieve both superior performance and a reduced bill of materials for our customers' HDTV applications."

Among the advanced features delivered by the Rambus technology are image resolution of 1080 pixels or more, 120Hz refresh rates, 12-bit color, multiple HD picture in picture data streams, and advanced image enhancement algorithms, according to the companies.

Rambus is a technology licensing company specializing in the design and development of high-speed memory architectures. Headquartered in Los Altos, Calif., the company has regional offices in North Carolina, Germany, Japan, Korea, and Taiwan. Other XDR licensees include Elpida Memory, Qimonda AG, and Samsung Electronics.

Rambus this year was the center of an antitrust ruling by the Federal Trade Commission. The regulator in February set maximum royalty rates for some Rambus memory technologies and ordered the intellectual property vendor to establish internal procedures to fully disclose its patents and patent applications to standards groups. The order followed an FTC ruling in August that Rambus monopolized the memory chip market.

The FTC action was interpreted by experts as a clear message to the semiconductor industry about the need to disclose patents in industry standards deliberations. The case stemmed from Rambus' participation in standards talks at Jedec in the mid-1990s.

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