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Nvidia: agreement with Intel still applies

Posted: 20 Feb 2009 ?? ?Print Version ?Bookmark and Share

Keywords:court filing Nvidia? Intel agreement? license chipset agreement?

Nvidia Corp. has responded to a court filing (Court of Chancery in the State of Delaware) in which Intel Corp. alleged that the chipset license agreement that the companies signed does not extend to Intel's future generation CPUs with "integrated" memory controllers such as Nehalem. The filing does not impact Nvidia chipsets that are currently being shipped.

"We are confident that our license, as negotiated, applies," said Jen-Hsun Huang, president and CEO of Nvidia. "At the heart of this issue is that the CPU has run its course and the soul of the PC is shifting quickly to the GPU. This is clearly an attempt to stifle innovation to protect a decaying CPU business."

Nvidia entered into the agreement in 2004 to bring platform innovations to Intel CPU based systems. In return, Intel took a license to Nvidia's portfolio of 3D, GPU and other computing patents.

Since signing the agreement, Nvidia has offered SLI, Hybrid power and CUDA parallel processing. ION, the most recent innovation, integrates a GPU, north bridge and south bridge into one compact die. When combined with a CPU, ION enables two-chip PC architecture for Intel processors two years ahead of Intel's own solution. In addition, the ION platform offers 10x the performance of Intel's current three chip design.

Huang said that given the broad and growing adoption of Nvidia's platform innovations, it is not surprising that Intel is now initiating a dispute over a contract signed four years ago. Innovations like ION, SLI, Hybrid power and CUDA threaten Intel's ability to control the PC platform, according to the company.

Nvidia has been attempting to resolve the disagreement with Intel in a fair and reasonable manner for over a year. Nvidia's chipsets for Intel's current CPU bus interface are not affected by the dispute.

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