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October 14, 1998


By CBR Staff Writer

Rambus Inc, inventor of the RDRAM high-speed memory chip interface technology, said its business continues to be hit by pricing turmoil within the DRAM market. But the Mountain View, California-based company managed to report fourth quarter net profits up 63.8% at $1.7m on revenues up 23.6% at $9.7m. Earnings per share were in line with the consensus of estimates at $0.07. Good news in the quarter included the addition of Advanced Micro Device Inc, the world’s second biggest manufacturer of microprocessors, as a licensee of Rambus technology. Additionally, the company has succeeded in reducing its dependence on the Nintendo games console which previously accounted for up to 90% of revenues. Chief financial officer, Gary Harmon, said the current percentage of Nintendo-based revenues was difficult to establish but he assured analysts on the fourth quarter conference call that it was now considerably less than 90%. He said Rambus was currently receiving revenue from 10 licensees, added to which, a further 60 applications were being reviewed. However, the company’s business model continues to lag the industry by a full quarter because royalties on a Rambus license cannot be charged until chip production figures have been submitted by licensees. Asked about the threat posed by NEC Corp’s rival Virtual Channel Memory FDRAM technology, Rambus’ chief executive Geoff Tate said Virtual Channel only offered an incremental improvement over existing Synchronous DRAM technology and was not in any way competitive with Rambus.

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