Updated from 12:06 p.m. EDT
jumped Wednesday after the memory chip designer said it had reached a licensing agreement with
of Japan, the world's second-largest chipmaker.
NEC is the largest chipmaker to sign a licensing agreement with Rambus, which is embroiled in lawsuits over licensing royalties. It is the fourth such deal for Rambus, which designs but does not manufacture memory chips.
Rambus finished up $6.50, or 8%, at $83.31 after rising as high as $85.50 during intraday trading. NEC's American depositary receipts finished up $1.88, or 1%, at $130.88.
The Santa Clara, Calif.-based company has licensed more than 100 patents to around 30 semiconductor companies. NEC's rivals,
, signed similar patent agreements in June.
Earlier this year, Rambus sued Hitachi, arguing that it owed Rambus royalties on SDRAM and DDR memory, each of which competes with Rambus' proprietary RDRAM, an acronym for Rambus dynamic random access memory. Hitachi settled that suits by agreeing to pay Rambus the royalties. Rambus also has a case pending against
But two other chip makers,
Hyundai Electronics Industries
of South Korea, have
sued Rambus, rejecting the company's claims to patent royalties and instead accusing the company of violating antitrust laws. Rambus filed a counterlawsuit against those two companies in Europe on Tuesday.
The NEC agreement includes development of a new line of direct RDRAM products as part of a larger strategic alliance and a broader licensing agreement between the two companies. NEC has been developing, manufacturing and marketing RDRAMs since 1991.
"We expect to see this success continue into other areas such as the PC, workstation and server markets, and the agreement signed with Rambus is another step towards that goal," said Kanji Sugihara, a top executive for
NEC Electron Devices
, the semiconductor arm of NEC.
The deal includes undisclosed royalties and licensing fees, and NEC signed a patent agreement covering "fundamental aspects of high-speed memory interfaces invented by Rambus," the companies said in a statement.
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