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Rambus revs up on NEC licensing pact

Rambus Inc. (Nasdaq: RMBS) was up 14 percent on the Island ECN Wednesday morning after announcing Tuesday it had new licensing agreements with NEC Corp. (Nasdaq: NIPNY).

Shares in the intellectual property company that designs and licenses high-bandwidth chip technologies were up 10.56 to 87.38. Rambus has been troubled since last month by two lawsuits filed by Micron Technology Inc (NYSE: MU) and Korea-based Hyundai Electronics Industries Co Ltd , alleging Rambus violated antitrust laws. By licensing Rambus' property, NEC can avoid the legal run-around. On Tuesday, Rambus filed a counter-lawsuit in Europe against those two chipmakers.

The licensing agreements include the development of the next-generation Direct RDRAM as part of a larger strategic alliance between the two companies. According to Dataquest's 1999 worldwide rankings, NEC is the second largest semiconductor manufacturer in the world as well as the fourth largest DRAM and third largest ASIC manufacturer.

As part of this larger strategic agreement, NEC and Rambus also signed a patent agreement covering patents for certain aspects of high-speed memory interfaces invented by Rambus, which are currently being implemented in SDRAM, and Double Data Rate (DDR) SDRAM memory.