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NVIDIA accuses Intel of fighting innovation with lawsuit

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February 20, 2009 8:46:58 PM

NVIDIA accuses Intel of fighting innovation with lawsuit

By Kasper Jade & Zach Spear
Published: 03:00 PM EST

A legal dispute between two chip giants turned bitter on Thursday when NVIDIA characterized a recent lawsuit from Intel as a low-blow effort to save its "decaying" CPU business by squeezing its competitors out of the market.

In a statement sent to AppleInsider, NVIDIA took Intel's allegations head-on and attempted to recast the issue as a transition between old and new technologies, insisting that a patent license agreement it signed with the chipmaker back in 2004 affords it the right to develop chipsets for both current and future generations of Intel processors.

"We are confident that our license, as negotiated, applies," said NVIDIA president and chief executive Jen-Hsun Huang. "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," he added.

Intel, which sued the graphics technology leader in Delaware Chancery Court earlier this week, begs to differ. The world's largest chipmaker maintains that the 2004 agreement does not cover chipsets compatible with its forthcoming line of 'Nehalem' processors that incorporate integrated memory controllers, for which it believes NVIDIA is planning a new round of supporting chipsets.

For its part, NVIDIA claims to have tried for over a year to resolve the dispute between the two Santa Clara, Calif.-based firms "in a fair and reasonable manner." It chalks the lawsuit up to an act of desperation now that GPUs have gained prominence at the expense of traditional processors, such as those manufactured by Intel.

"Since signing the agreement, NVIDIA has offered innovations such as SLI, Hybrid power, and CUDA parallel processing. ION, the most recent innovation, integrates a powerful NVIDIA GPU, north bridge and south bridge into one compact die," NVIDIA said. "When combined with a CPU, ION enables a two-chip PC architecture for Intel processors two years ahead of Intel’s own solution."

NVIDIA also pointed to Apple's embrace of its new MCP79 chipset platform for its entire new line of notebooks including the MacBook Classic, MacBook Air, MacBook and MacBook Pro. The Mac maker was the first mainstream vendor to drop chipsets developed by Intel for those manufactured by NVIDIA. The move is believed to be a long-term technology shift on Apple's part, one which would be placed in jeopardy should Intel ultimately prevail with its lawsuit.

"Today, companies like Acer, Alienware, Asus, Dell, Falcon Northwest, Fujitsu, Gigabyte, HP, Lenovo, MSI, NEC, and Toshiba all ship exciting innovations created by NVIDIA as a result of its agreement with Intel," Huang said. "iven 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."

In the one shred of common ground surrounding the matter, both companies agree that their respective and current products are not part of this dispute. An Intel spokesperson told AppleInsider that the company hopes the two tech giants can continue to do business together going forward.

http://www.appleinsider.com/articles/09/02/19/nvidia_ac...
a c 127 à CPUs
February 21, 2009 7:46:14 AM

Quote:
Here's hoping it drags on and on and bankrupts them both. :D 


And be stuck with just AMD/ATI as one company and a stalemate in the CPU/GPU markets? No thanks.

Don't forget that as much as Intel needs AMD and nVidia needs ATI to keep them pushing newer technologies it works vice versa. Without any competition do you think that AMD/ATI would try to release newer better stuff that fast and only think of their consumers? Hell no. They would hike up prices and fatten their board members wallets just like every oter company would.

As for this, nVidia is just sore because they want to continue to make chipsets that still are not better than Intels and sell mobos with the "Hey we have SLI on our chipsets only" crap. So many people got stuck with ok chipsets because of that.
February 21, 2009 1:52:49 PM

Quote:
I'm not 100% sure on the details but from what i can see it looks like intel have 'shifted the goalposts' on this deal. It can't be clear cut either way, otherwise their lawyers wouldn't be fighting it out. :p 


sounds about right. i dont think Nvidia worked out a deal for SLI certification on the x58 out of the kindness of their hearts. now its their turn at bat and Intel is the kid who is taking the ball home in middle of the game lol
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February 21, 2009 2:25:01 PM

My whole problem with something like this is, if compwtition is eliminated by Intel thru licensing only, and not truly thru performance, we will never know if someone elses chipsets are actually superior, and I dont much care for that. If nVidias or someone elses chipsets suck, let em suck, and then they have the problem of trying to sell them. But if they are better but never get a chance.....
February 21, 2009 6:17:48 PM

yep. it hasnt always been that Intel made the best chipset for Intel, AMD best chipset for AMD. there was a time when that piece of the business was pretty competitive. sounds like Intel doesnt want to return to those days.
February 21, 2009 6:57:09 PM

Dont see what the problem is. No more Nvidia chipsets is a good thing, no customer wants or deserves the burden of dealing with their countless issues.
February 21, 2009 7:03:13 PM

i hear that alot but i cant really join in on that because i have had several and never had problems. *shrugs*
the most problematic chipset i ever had i still remember well. it was an AMD chipset on a Abit KG7 RAID board. pure crap. the MSI VIA board i sold when i got it was faster and more stable. that was back in the Thunderbird era.
February 21, 2009 7:08:32 PM

I just cant ever get over those EVGA 680i boards I went through, the RMAs and the hassles. Ill never take that plunge again.
a c 127 à CPUs
February 22, 2009 2:28:15 AM

JAYDEEJOHN said:
My whole problem with something like this is, if compwtition is eliminated by Intel thru licensing only, and not truly thru performance, we will never know if someone elses chipsets are actually superior, and I dont much care for that. If nVidias or someone elses chipsets suck, let em suck, and then they have the problem of trying to sell them. But if they are better but never get a chance.....


The biggest problem is just that. nVidias chipsets have pretty much always been inferior to Intel chipsets. They don't perform as well and also limit the OCing capability. But since nVidia went out of their way to only put SLI on their chipsets a lot of people got stuck with a inferior product because at the time the 8800 series and SLI was the better solution vs the X1950 or HD2900 and CF (up until recent drivers that have improved the 2900 series a lot) until the HD3800 (not much better performance just price) and now the HD4800 series.

So basically what nVidia did was just selfish. I think they knew their chipsets were not as good and in order to make the sales they didn't license SLI to Intel therefore trying to corner their market. But now that ATI has the upper hand (mainly in price/performance/watt) they want it to stay the same but Intel doesn't need SLI if most people will be going with ATI and all Intel chipsets support CF.
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