In a stunning flip of occasions, Cadence and Rambus entered right into a definitive settlement late final week for Cadence to purchase reminiscence bodily interface IP and SerDes companies from Rambus. Consequently, Cadence will get a complete portfolio of reminiscence PHY IP and a longtime shopper base. In the meantime, with the sale of its PHY and SerDes property, Rambus will now solely give attention to licensing digital IP.
Traditionally, Rambus developed reminiscence applied sciences, together with RDRAM and XDR DRAM. Sooner or later, the corporate patented elementary applied sciences enabling SDRAM, DDR SDRAM, and their successors. Doing this allowed them to successfully sue just about all reminiscence makers and designers of reminiscence controllers (together with AMD and Nvidia) and make them pay license charges.
Over time the corporate started to license reminiscence controllers and PHY. It turned a one-stop store for chip builders needing a turnkey reminiscence, PCIe, or MIPI answer for his or her designs. These days, it’s attainable to return to Rambus and get one of many business’s finest reminiscence controllers and silicon-proven interfaces. However whereas Rambus plans to retain reminiscence and interface controllers and the whole lot logic-related, it intends to do away with its PHY and SerDes IP property and promote them to Cadence.
Getting silicon-proven PHY and SerDes IP property and purchasers for Cadence makes good sense.
“The acquisition of the Rambus PHY IP broadens Cadence’s well-established enterprise IP portfolio and expands its attain throughout geographies and vertical markets, such because the aerospace and protection market, offering full subsystem options that meet the calls for of our worldwide clients,” mentioned Boyd Phelps, senior vice chairman and normal supervisor of the IP Group at Cadence.
However the rationale behind Rambus’s determination to promote PHY and SerDes enterprise is much less apparent. On the one hand, reminiscence PHY and SerDes companies require Rambus to put money into costly tape-outs on the most recent nodes, and this requires capital and will increase dangers as Rambus has to compete in opposition to corporations like Cadence and Synopsys which are bigger and have more cash. Then again, Rambus could be a one-stop store for reminiscence controllers and PHY, which has benefits (i.e., Rambus can cost a premium).
In the meantime, with no need to maintain its bodily IP property updated, Rambus can now give attention to licensing pure applied sciences and not put money into bodily IP like PHY or SerDes.
“With this transaction, we are going to enhance our give attention to market-leading digital IP and chips and increase our roadmap of novel reminiscence options to help the continued evolution of the info heart and AI,” mentioned Sean Fan, senior vice chairman and chief working officer at Rambus.
The transaction is projected to have a negligible affect on the income and earnings of every firm for this 12 months. The anticipated cut-off date is within the third quarter of 2023, topic to particular closing circumstances.