Here is what MU champion and VP of sales Mike Sadler said in his deposition about RDRAM, at a time when MU was contractually OBLIGATED to support RDRAM and say nice things about Rambus:
Q. (BY MR. PERRY) So as of January 20 2000 it would have been Micron’s preference to see DDR become the dominate main memory device instead of RDRAM? A. That is correct. Q. Then you ask, going back to the document, you ask in paragraph 3,quote: “Assume price is one of the key drivers. What are the SD Rambus price points relative to RDRAM that sink RDRAM?” Was that a question you were asking Jeff Hutchinson and Mike Grant? A. That is a question I asked them, yes. Q. And then you said, quote: Keep in mind that SDRAM is selling at 40% of RDRAM today ($250 discount on 128Mb (and that apparently hasn’t sunk in yet. Why did you say that today SDRAM is selling at 40 percent of RDRAM and it hasn’t sunk in yet; what did you mean by that? MR. STEIGER: The document says “sunk it yet.” Q. (BY MR. PERRY) “Hasn’t sunk it yet.” What did you mean by that? A. I meant that, even at the price differential that we perceived was in place today, RDRAM was still kind of hanging around as at least being considered as main memory solution by Compaq. ___________________________________________
This shows conclusively that MU was in violation of it's contract with Rambus. It was also out of trust with Intel who paid MU $500M to support and produce RDRAM. Instead, MU was sabotaging RDRAM behind the scenes. The motive was simple. They did not want to produce RDRAM, even though they were contractually obligated to do so, and ethically obligated to do so since Intel had given them $500M to transition to RDRAM production.
That's all bad enough. But then they organized/participated in a price-fixing cartel intended to "sink" RDRAM as Mikey refers to above.
Is it any wonder that good old 5th amendment Mike did not show up the trial in SF, and is hiding out either in Boise or at his "reassignment in Asia?
What I can't understand is that in 2000, the industry was colluding to keep non-RMBS memory prices high. That would increase RDRAM's competitiveness ... but it still wasn't enough. RDRAM was still too costly.
This is an interesting part of the debate across the parties. Clearly the DOJ has leveled a complaint that the DRAMmakers held prices up or tried to increase prices. The Rambus argument is that the DRAM makers got together and agreed to lower prices of SDR/DDR to "kill" Rambus, THEN they colluded to increase prices. Rambus fans hold out the "Linda Turner" e-mail as evidence of this. As I have posted before, I think it is absurd that the only non-RDRAM producer could collude with RDRAM producers to "kill" RDRAM.