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I was away for a long weekend in a hotel that isn't computer-compatible. I'd like to respond to a couple topics of late.

The important agreement reminds me of Qualcomm's agreement with Ericsson. Just as Q's agreement didn't make it a Gorilla, neither does Rambus's agreement. The only thing that makes a gorilla is a tornado.

At the time of the Q agreement, it became apparent to me that Q's tornado had already been in place for about nine months. Investors interested in Rambus should decide if the tornado has formed in SDRAM which the agreement affects. They should also look at RDRAM to determine if the winds of a tornado are blowing. You might arrive at two different answers.

Proprietary Architecture

John, you asked what questions would help us arrive at whether or not an architecture is proprietary. I'll give it a shot:

1) Is the architecture controlled by a committee? If the answer is "Yes," it's not a proprietary architecture.

2) The corollary, of course, is to ask if the architecture is controlled by a company. If the answer is "Yes," it's a proprietary architecture.

That seems black-and-white. If that were all there is to it, I doubt you'd be asking the question. There are grey areas.

Qualcomm happens to be a great example of one of those grey areas. CDMA2000 is controlled entirely by Qualcomm but the decision to include it (or not include it) in the standard was committee-controlled. The point is, when asking the above questions, that we need to make a critically important distinction between "controlling" the architecture and "deciding" if it is going to be part of the standard.

People who think as I do feel that Qualcomm's architecture was so strong that the market decided it should become the standard. The committees' decisions about that were only symptoms of what was taking place in the market long before the committee decisions were made. Investors need to arrive at those distinctions very clearly in the greyer areas of proprietary architectures that are adopted for standards by committees.

Hope this helps.

--Mike Buckley
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