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Intel and Nvidia Reportedly Settle License Suit

By - Source: Tom's Hardware US | B 20 comments

There is a notable increase in chatter about a possible settlement of a nasty license fight between Intel and Nvidia. The two companies canceled a trial date set for December 6 and it seems as if a suit filed by Intel against Nvidia alleging patent infringement as well as a countersuit by Nvidia that accuses Intel of shutting Nvidia out of being able to offer chipsets for Nehalem processors could soon be resolved.

When Intel decided to integrate a memory controller within Nehalem CPUs, it basically pulled Nvidia's foundation for providing chipsets for Intel processors as it was apparently intended by a cross license agreement (CLA) that was signed by both companies. In Nvidia's view, that was unfair as Intel effectively canceled out one part of the agreement, while it could still access the full GPU patent portfolio for the life of the license. According to that decision, Nvidia's legal right to offer chipsets was limited to Core 2 Duo processors, which, by the way, seems to be at least one reason why Apple is still offering Core 2 Duo processors in Macbooks in combination with Nvidia chipsets.

Of course, Nvidia was not happy and one could argue that Intel's suit against Nvidia was not made in good faith. The company sued to either dissolve the CLA, terminate Intel's rights to use Nvidia's GPU technology or extend Nvidia's right to manufacture Intel-compatible parts. Your guess is as good as ours when it comes to what the outcome may be. But we know that Intel has a tendency to settle out of court and this one could be expensive. The rumored $1 billion payment to Nvidia may be a bit exaggerated, but our common sense suggests that it will cost Intel a few dollars to wiggle its way out of Nvidia's suit.    

Source: Bloomberg

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Top Comments
  • 17 Hide
    jsc , December 6, 2010 10:52 PM
    I'm a PC, "I have the latest specs."

    I'm a Mac, "I don't need specs."
  • 16 Hide
    Celestial , December 6, 2010 10:04 PM
    SUCK IT INTEL
  • 11 Hide
    winner4455 , December 6, 2010 10:43 PM
    Daygallhrm.... since im not a mac guy i didnt know macs where still useing C2Ds ... why the heck are they still so expensive? anyways all this is good news as it means that at least there will be more options on the table in terms of choices for chipsets


    Because it's a Mac...
Other Comments
  • 16 Hide
    Celestial , December 6, 2010 10:04 PM
    SUCK IT INTEL
  • 10 Hide
    daygall , December 6, 2010 10:04 PM
    hrm.... since im not a mac guy i didnt know macs where still useing C2Ds ... why the heck are they still so expensive?

    anyways all this is good news as it means that at least there will be more options on the table in terms of choices for chipsets
  • 4 Hide
    sykozis , December 6, 2010 10:14 PM
    nVidia announced that their chipset business is done a few months ago...
  • 11 Hide
    winner4455 , December 6, 2010 10:43 PM
    Daygallhrm.... since im not a mac guy i didnt know macs where still useing C2Ds ... why the heck are they still so expensive? anyways all this is good news as it means that at least there will be more options on the table in terms of choices for chipsets


    Because it's a Mac...
  • 17 Hide
    jsc , December 6, 2010 10:52 PM
    I'm a PC, "I have the latest specs."

    I'm a Mac, "I don't need specs."
  • 6 Hide
    wymer100 , December 6, 2010 11:01 PM
    C2D and an nvidia GPU or an i3 with a craptastic integrated GPU? I think Apple made the correct decision with their macbook and macbook air. The macbook pro uses i5/i7 with discrete GPU so it doesn't matter.
  • 0 Hide
    joytech22 , December 6, 2010 11:12 PM
    Intel's just being intel, they want everything to be about "THEM", they want the fastest, they want to run everything "Intel Inside".

    I can't blame them, from a business perspective it's actually a path i could see myself taking, although i still have no idea why they charge so much for their parts.
  • -1 Hide
    scook9 , December 6, 2010 11:36 PM
    I am actually glad as you can expect to see NO MORE x58 SLI boards if nvidia gets to make their own chipsets....
  • -1 Hide
    mister g , December 6, 2010 11:41 PM
    I'm wondering if Nvidia will continue their nForce line, and disable the Intel GPU and turn on the chipset one by default, just as a little retribution. Guess having AMD as a common enemy makes any problem between them settle quickly.
  • -2 Hide
    falchard , December 7, 2010 2:17 AM
    Why don't they just drop Intel like a bad habit? I am positive AMD would follow suit and it would effectively destroy the Intel Platform.
  • 1 Hide
    killbits , December 7, 2010 3:37 AM
    not an nvidia fan but I hate Intel even more. so, moral of the story is, who cares? AMD ftw!!!
  • -3 Hide
    billj214 , December 7, 2010 4:17 AM
    Gotta love the AMD fanboy comments, none of them could run a company but would be great in government work! Need I say more?
  • 0 Hide
    dEAne , December 7, 2010 5:14 AM
    It is a good punch for intel - it is quite unfair for nvidia.
  • 0 Hide
    Kaiser_25 , December 7, 2010 7:36 AM
    joytech22Intel's just being intel, they want everything to be about "THEM", they want the fastest, they want to run everything "Intel Inside".I can't blame them, from a business perspective it's actually a path i could see myself taking, although i still have no idea why they charge so much for their parts.


    lol not sure why they cost so much..? umm look into the costs of what a fab/clean room cost to build and maintain, the machines in the fab cost from 5 mil - 60 mil each, and there are hundreds of them in a single fab...
  • 5 Hide
    cookoy , December 7, 2010 11:54 AM
    Intel to AMD: i sue you.
    AMD to Intel: i sue you too.
    Result: Intel pay AMD 1 billion.

    Intel to nVidia: i sue you.
    nVidia to Intel: i sue you too.
    Result: Intel to pay nVidia 1 billion too???

    Some guys don't learn.
  • 0 Hide
    feeddagoat , December 7, 2010 4:00 PM
    TBH I want SLI on AMD socket boards. I do like the fact that on intel you could SLI and crossfire. I can't see boards being that flexible if nvidia put their own chipset on it
  • 0 Hide
    roadrun777 , December 7, 2010 4:51 PM
    Intel graphic chips are so fast I peed and got electrocuted by a 24v power supply. They should sue themselves.
  • -1 Hide
    f-14 , December 7, 2010 7:13 PM
    interesting. i can see intel settling and paying out to nvidia to end the contract. i am more interested to see if Nvidia is going to put their money where their mouth is in saying the GPU will replace CPU's and develope their own processor/chipset line or wether they will go the AMD route and buy up evergreen or cyrix or somebody and burn what $$$ they have left getting that up to par and trying to recover from that. and then maybe do some more advancing, but from what i've seen of AMD so far, that's a pretty speculative route to go to stay in business in this economy but makes more sense IMO.
  • -1 Hide
    eddieroolz , December 8, 2010 9:43 AM
    Intel has been left unchecked for way too long. I know I wouldn't trust a company that threatened OEMs for using AMD parts.
  • 0 Hide
    Anonymous , September 1, 2011 4:08 PM
    the settle ment ended with intel barring Nvidia from being allowed to make intergrated PCB with both intel and Nvidia components on. In other words, there will be no new Intel/Nvidia Laptops, or motherboards. Hence the £200 mac mini price drop and the AMD graphics solution in all new macbooks.

    Simultaneously, AMD all of a sudden becomes the favorite for the future of gaming, I mean you weren't really thinking of gaming on an Intel HD 4000 were you?