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Nvidia CEO Responds to Intel Lawsuit

By - Source: Tom's Hardware US | B 16 comments

Last Monday, Intel filed a lawsuit against Nvidia, which apparently stated that the chipset license agreement the two companies signed four years ago does not extend to Intel’s future generation CPUs with integrated memory controllers. While Nvidia responded with a statement and official press release last week week, CEO Jen-Hsun Huang spoke to Digitimes about the suit and explained why he thinks the suit is groundless.

The original agreement (made in 2004) allowed Nvidia to produce chipsets for Intel CPUs without integrated memory controllers. At the time however, Intel did not have any integrated memory controllers in its plans and so no stipulation was in place to forbid Nvidia from making chipsets for CPUs with memory controllers. Nvidia responded to the court filing with a release stating that “we are confident that our license, as negotiated, applies," and that "Nvidia has been attempting to resolve the disagreement with Intel in a fair and reasonable manner for over a year."

"The disagreement is over the fact that they (Intel) don't believe we have the right to design chipsets for CPUs with integrated memory controllers, which we do," said Huang. "Nvidia entered into an agreement in 2004 in order to bring platform innovations to Intel CPU based systems, and in return, Intel took a license to our rich portfolio of 3D, GPU, and other computing patents."

Huang told Digitimes that the agreement was Huang revealed that the agreement made with Intel is "broad" and does not go as far as to name specific technologies. He also said that the trigger Intel's "hostile action" seems to be the announcement of Nvidia's Ion platform.

Huang assured Digitimes that he is confident that the courts would find that the agreement does give Nvidia rights to produce chipsets that support Intel CPUs with integrated memory controllers and added that the company is not afraid of Intel and will not be backing down.

This case is about the future and Nvidia's ability to continue to innovate and make a difference in the industry by creating its own products, not just those that Intel allows it to create, Digitimes quotes Huang as saying.

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  • 3 Hide
    jerreece , February 23, 2009 4:26 PM
    "Oh yeah?!? Well my lawyer costs more than yours!!"

    Here's the reality. If nVidia is not allowed to manufacture chipsets (motherboards) that support Intel's future CPUs it takes a lot of options away from us, the consumer. Granted nVidia doesn't make the best motherboards for Intel chips currently, but it removes the option from consumers, and potentially takes a very large chunk of nVidia's revenue away.

    If nVidia couldn't make SLI supporting Mobos for Intel CPUS, that would mean Intel's own chipsets which only support X-Fire would dominate, thus giving ATI/AMD a good edge.

    I think it's better for all of us that nVidia wins this case.
  • 0 Hide
    NuclearShadow , February 23, 2009 4:31 PM
    Why would this even have to be a lawsuit? Lets say Intel is right (Though my opinion says otherwise) and Nvidia did a no-no. Its sounds more like a misunderstanding than anything and could simply be resolved by making a new and updated contract that both companies can come to a agreement.
  • 3 Hide
    dyingcat , February 23, 2009 4:42 PM
    NuclearShadowWhy would this even have to be a lawsuit? Lets say Intel is right (Though my opinion says otherwise) and Nvidia did a no-no. Its sounds more like a misunderstanding than anything and could simply be resolved by making a new and updated contract that both companies can come to a agreement.

    That would require Nvidia paying Intel some more money, to buy the license for something Nvidia believes it already paid for before..i think
  • 0 Hide
    bustapr , February 23, 2009 4:57 PM
    If intel wins this one ,there will no longer be any fun with the ati/nvidia war.ATI would kick nvidias ass because nvidia would lose most of the budget that it makes with the intel chipsets.
  • 1 Hide
    jerreece , February 23, 2009 5:01 PM
    NuclearShadowWhy would this even have to be a lawsuit? Lets say Intel is right (Though my opinion says otherwise) and Nvidia did a no-no. Its sounds more like a misunderstanding than anything and could simply be resolved by making a new and updated contract that both companies can come to a agreement.


    "No I didn't"

    "Yes you did."

    "No I didn't!"

    That's why there is a lawsuit. Because they couldn't agree. The article says they've been trying to work this problem out for a year. Since they haven't come to an agreement and are still fighting over it, now Intel is going to sue and let a Judge decide who is right.
  • 1 Hide
    pharge , February 23, 2009 5:46 PM
    jerreece"...If nVidia couldn't make SLI supporting Mobos for Intel CPUS, that would mean Intel's own chipsets which only support X-Fire would dominate, thus giving ATI/AMD a good edge...

    nVidia does(at least planed) to support SLI on Intel X58 chipset. "Nvidia backtracks to authorize native SLI technology support on Intel X58 motherboards (http://www.digitimes.com/mobos/a20080828VL200.html)"
  • 3 Hide
    Anonymous , February 23, 2009 6:27 PM
    The real reason is that Intel is losing chipset market shares to NVIDIA. At minimum, they lost the Macbook segment to NVIDIA. They also is about to lose some of their netbook segment market share to NVIDIA's Ion. Apple is reportedly going to go with NVIDIA for the new iMacs too. So, Intel is arguing that newer CPUs are different than the previous ones and therefore the license doesn't apply, in order to stop NVIDIA from competing with them in the chipset market. I doubt that Intel wins, but this lawsuit may cost NVIDIA the iMac win, because the new iMac is going to use the new Intel CPUs and the uncertainty may force Apple to change their plan to use NVIDIA chipset.
  • 2 Hide
    Anonymous , February 23, 2009 7:08 PM
    Isn't the solution obvious? Intel needs to make better chipsets.
  • 2 Hide
    rooket , February 23, 2009 7:45 PM
    jerreece"Oh yeah?!? Well my lawyer costs more than yours!!"Here's the reality. If nVidia is not allowed to manufacture chipsets (motherboards) that support Intel's future CPUs it takes a lot of options away from us, the consumer. Granted nVidia doesn't make the best motherboards for Intel chips currently, but it removes the option from consumers, and potentially takes a very large chunk of nVidia's revenue away.If nVidia couldn't make SLI supporting Mobos for Intel CPUS, that would mean Intel's own chipsets which only support X-Fire would dominate, thus giving ATI/AMD a good edge.I think it's better for all of us that nVidia wins this case.


    Evga has an X58 intel chipset that supports SLI. Doesn't that mean that Intel has chipsets that support SLI? I think the chipsets that don't support SLI are intel's socket 775 ones. But yeah I agree, I'm happy with my nvidia 790i and it would take options away from consumers. Although.. I probably would have bought an intel chipset if it had lifetime warranty, did not want to go back to Asus with their 3 year warranty and them hiding their silly RMA page.
  • 1 Hide
    Master Exon , February 23, 2009 7:55 PM
    If Intel's chipsets weren't shit, they wouldn't have to play noncompetitive.
  • 0 Hide
    falchard , February 23, 2009 9:08 PM
    Hooray super win for AMD if Intel succeeds. Just the boost AMD needed. Intel shooting themselves in the foot so the only way to play on a PC with nVidia is to get an AMD machine, or use an AMD GPU.
  • 0 Hide
    Anonymous , February 23, 2009 10:55 PM
    think people. how did intel make an integrated chipset? they used nvidia patents to help develop their own tech. so intel has received there fair consideration, now nvidia still has theirs
  • 0 Hide
    vider , February 24, 2009 1:05 AM
    nVidia should just turn around to AMD/ATI to stay in the business, no law suites and money will still flow.
  • 1 Hide
    croc , February 24, 2009 3:45 AM
    For years, Nvidia refused to license SLI to Intel. In 2004, they decided that they wanted to make better MB chipsets, hence the cross-licensing. Now Nvidia wants to license x58 chipsets, and Intel says 'new chipset, new license'. Paybacks are a b1tch...
  • 0 Hide
    scarpa , February 24, 2009 7:00 AM
    Intel sucks, never buy something from Intel, they want to ruin the PC market.
  • -1 Hide
    smalltime0 , February 24, 2009 8:35 AM
    crocFor years, Nvidia refused to license SLI to Intel. In 2004, they decided that they wanted to make better MB chipsets, hence the cross-licensing. Now Nvidia wants to license x58 chipsets, and Intel says 'new chipset, new license'. Paybacks are a b1tch...

    Yeah, everyone ignores the fact that Nvidia pulled the same stunts on licenses.