Rambus Technology - 2018 double?

I’m just beginning to look at this company. They have license agreements with a technology start up called Gigajot. Gigajot was formed by Dr. Eric Fossum. He’s not exactly a household name, but he’s the guy who invented CMOS imaging technology. CMOS imaging is the fundamental cornerstone of digital photography which is now as ubiquitous as smart phones.

Dr. Fossum, along with a few other researchers has developed a new imaging technology which appears to be as commercially accessible as CMOS imaging but with orders of magnitude improvements, especially related to extremely low-light situations, as well as extraordinary resolution levels. Here’s a short article about it from Kurzweil Science and Technology News:


And here’s a press release from Rambus:


Here’s a link to the investor relations page for Rambus:


I’ve not dug in on this yet, but from the very superficial look at Rambus that I’ve taken so far:

  • Rambus IPO, 1997
  • Rambus is both GAAP and non-GAAP profitable (MRQ).
  • 2Q17 Revenue, up (YoY) 24% at $94.7M
  • 800 employees
  • Hold a rich IP portfolio
  • Dec 22 close, $14.31 (-0.56%)

I welcome assistance in investigation and analysis, but to me (first blush) this looks like it might be a double for 2018 with a enormous future growth potential.


Oops . . .

It appears that my human qualities are on display, I have made a significant mistake regarding a key factor. I thought (based on the Kurzweil article which I may not have read carefully enough) that Gigajot has licensed the technology from Rambus for development. Well, that’s 180 degrees out of phase from my initial impression. Rambus holds the patents and they have licensed them back to Dr. Fossum so that he may exploit the technology he developed at Gigajot.

How is that possible? I’m not exactly positive about how this all came together, but it appears that the research was funded by Rambus jointly with a DARPA grant. The terms of the agreement must have been that Rambus held the rights to the patents that came from the research.

Gigajot is privately held, so unless you’re a venture capitalist (are there any that read this board?) there’s not much here worth investing in. Rambus seems to be in the business of buying patents and licensing the rights for development to others. I imagine this is a pretty solid business, but certainly not the kind of growth opportunities that we usually look for on this board.

When I worked at a big aerospace firm I had a friend who worked in the patent licensing office. The company developed lots of technologies that had more applications than just those embedded in their own products. License agreements were lucrative but only showed up in the catchall “other sources of revenue” on the income statement.

Pardon me for my initial enthusiasm. If and when Gigjot goes to IPO it’s worth paying attention, but as for now, there’s no way to get on board this potential gravy train.


Rambus! That certainly brings back (bad) memories. My first post in 2006 was on the Rambus board, and much time was spent analyzing the details of endless lawsuits. It was not to end well. I still own a little in some random account. It’s gone nowhere for years.


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While I was reading all the year end posts lately seeing people thanking each other for their contributions, I was actually wondering if the topic of image sensor, which my career is in for the past 10 years, will come up. I’m also very thankful for each of you but I’ve always wanted to give back so I got excited to see brittlerock’s post :wink:

This is the best place to read anything about image sensors:

I found this from the blog:
As a matter of fact, Rambus Emerging Solutions web page does not list imaging technologies anymore. Neither the company product page lists any of the imaging technologies that Rambus developed in the past: HDR sensors, binary pixels, lensless imagers

I think quantum dot imager solves some of the current challenges of CMOS image sensors (CIS) and might bring CIS to a new era but to bring that technologies into production and to commercialize it will take more time. Before this technologies matures and since the largest CIS market is dominated by Sony in the rear camera and becoming a commodity, the recent trend has been related to 3D depth sensing.

Since the launch of iPhone X with the face ID, many phone manufacturers are looking to implement that technology in their future phones. There are many components involved in this technolgy, including sensors, light projector, laser, module maker, and image signal processor. 3D sensing is becoming more important also due to the recent popularity of autonomous driving and virtual reality. So you’ll find a lot of articles in the blog above discussing different sensor types such as LiDAR, ToF, structured light.

Merry Christmas!



RMBS–I suppose whether you have fond memories or not so fond memories depends on when you bought and when you sold. As is the case with most stocks, RMBS was just an exaggerated example. RMBS went from 10 to 125 and back again in less than 2 years. Plenty of profit opportunity if you got in and out soon enough.

It did teach me never to invest in a stock based on the possible outcome of litigation.