Rambus Shares Surge After Reaching Nvidia Patent Deal

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Shares of Rambus soared as much as 12 percent before the market opened Wednesday after the company reached a cross-licensing deal with Nvidia.

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In early trading, Rambus shares were at $$8.43, up 88 cents from Tuesday's close. The rise values the Sunnyvale, Calif.-based innovator of high-speed memory chips at $830 million.

The deal with Nvidia, one of the fastest-growing semiconductor companies, allows the Santa Clara, Calif.-based company to use Rambus technologies and patents through 2017. It ends years of lawsuits.

Shares of Nvidia rose 11 cents to $15.85 in early trading.

Rambus, which was established by alumni of chip giants Intel and Advanced Micro Devices in 1990, devised its very fast DRAM chipsets and licensed them to the entire chip industry. But it's spent most of the past 20 years in lawsuits, alleging patent infractions or insufficient royalty payments.

CEO Harold Hughes said  the deal with Nvidia "allows us to move forward" especially as advanced Nvidia chips have propelled the company into new areas of computing, including parallel processing and visualization.

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