Nvidia & Intel Settle Lawsuits

Intel will gain access to Nvidia’s patents while paying the graphics chip supplier $1.5 billion in licensing fees, reports C/Net. The two companies canceled a Dec. 6 trial date to hash out lawsuits they had pending against each other.

“For the future use of Nvidia’s technology, Intel will pay Nvidia an aggregate of $1.5 billion in licensing fees payable in five annual installments, beginning Jan. 18, 2011,” Nvidia announced today. Nvidia and Intel have also agreed to drop all outstanding legal disputes between them.

Intel and Nvidia had both sued each other in early 2009. Intel had contended nVidia’s cross license does not extend to Intel’s future-generation processors. Nvidia countersued blocking access to its patent portfolio.

In effect, Nvidia was barred from building Intel-compatible chipsets beyond the Core 2 Duo generation of processors. For example, the second generation of Apple’s MacBook Air used an Nvidia chipset along with Intel’s Core 2 Duo processor.

The agreement announced Monday still bars Nvidia from using any of Intel’s x86 technology and, as a result, Nvidia cannot build x86-compatible chipsets, according to Intel. But Nvidia CEO Jen-Hsun Huang said, “We’ve already said many times that we have no intention to build chipsets for Intel processors.”

Microsoft confirmed last week that the next version of Windows will support ARM-based computer chips, used in smartphones and tablets. Windows 8 will work with ARM-based systems from partners Nvidia, Qualcomm, and Texas Instruments.

According to nVidia’s calculations, desktop and laptop computing is history. New super phones using multi-core CPUs are the future. NVIDIA also announced Project Denver, an ARM CPU for the desktop. Nvidia will also manufacture the “high-performance ARM core” for supercomputing and eventually high-end PC use. NVIDIA also licensed ARM’s current Cortex-A15 processor for its future-generation Tegra mobile processors.

Posted by Sam Churchill on .

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