Rambus ( RMBS) has signed a technology licensing pact with Fujitsu that could be worth up to $198 million. The five-year deal covers all segments of Fujitsu's business, including semiconductors and computer systems, representing the latest step in Rambus' efforts to extend its licensing business beyond manufacturers of DRAM memory chips. The deal "marks our first system-level patent license and another important milestone in validating the contribution of our patented inventions," Rambus CEO Harold Hughes said in a statement. Shares of Rambus were recently up 3.2%, or $1.07, to $34.60. News of the deal comes a few days after
Rambus inked a separate licensing agreement with IBM ( IBM) in which IBM's Cell BE processor will incorporate Rambus' high-speed XDR memory interface technology. Unlike the IBM deal though, Monday's agreement gives Japan's Fujitsu access to a broad range of Rambus technology. According to Rambus Sales and Licensing VP Sharon Holt, the Fujitsu deal represents another example of Rambus' strategy of striking broad patent agreements with technology companies, supplementing its traditional business of licensing specific memory technology. In January, Rambus announced a $75 million patent agreement with Advanced Micro Devices ( AMD). At the time, Rambus said it was in negotiations with other companies regarding similar patent licensing agreements. Rambus has a portfolio of more than 900 pending and issued patents worldwide. Fujitsu will pay Rambus between $108 million and $198 million over the deal's five-year term, according to a filing Rambus made with the Securities and Exchange Commission. The amount will be based in part on the relative volume of DRAM memory chips that Fujitsu purchases from Rambus-licensed manufacturers. The structure of the deal gives Fujistu an incentive to use Rambus-licensed memory components in its computer systems, which include servers, workstations and PCs, said Holt. By using more Rambus-licensed memory in its products, Fujitsu can reduce its payments to Rambus.