Skip to main content

Nvidia Now Licensing Keplar Cores, Visual Computing Patents

Nvidia's David Shannon said in a blog on Tuesday that the company is now licensing out its GPU cores and visual computing patent portfolio to device manufacturers. Why? To serve the needs of a larger piece of the market. PC sales are declining with the rise of smartphones and tablets, and GPU licensing opens up another lane of revenue to make up for that trickling income.

"It’s not practical to build silicon or systems to address every part of the expanding market. Adopting a new business approach will allow us to address the universe of devices," he said. "The explosion of Android devices presents an unprecedented opportunity to accelerate this effort."

Years ago, this opportunity didn't exist because there was mainly one computational device: the PC. But the "swirling" universe of new computing devices opens a door for Nvidia to be present in every form factor whether ODMs use Tegra chips or not. It will definitely be interesting to see what device makers will do with this technology.

However this isn't the first time Nvidia has licensed out its tech. The company signed a GPU deal with Sony for the PlayStation 3, and also licensed its visual computing patents to Intel for more than $250 million per year. That's not chump change, and now Nvidia plans to take a similar licensing route with its Keplar GPU cores.

"Through our efforts designing Tegra into mobile devices, we’ve gained valuable experience designing for the smallest power envelopes," Shannon said. "As a result, Kepler can operate in a half-watt power envelope, making it scalable from smartphones to supercomputers."

As we already know, Keplar is the core architecture in currently shipping GeForce, Quadro and Tesla GPUs, and will be packed into Nvidia's next-generation "Logan" Tegra chip slated for a 2014 release. Licensees will receive all necessary designs, collateral and support to integrate these Keplar cores into their devices, he said.

"We’ll also offer licensing rights to our visual computing portfolio," Shannon added. "This will enable licensees to develop their own GPU functionality while enjoying design freedom under the best visual computing patent portfolio in the world."

He concludes the blog by saying that for the consumer, licensing means "more of the planet’s users will be able to enjoy our advanced graphics technologies." For mobile gamers, that's undoubtedly awesome news.

  • cuecuemore
    Kepler*
    Reply
  • bikeordie1
    This IS a tech site right? FIX THE COMMENTS holy hell
    Reply
  • smeezekitty
    bikeordie1
    +1
    Cannot upvote
    Posting may or may not work will double post
    Comments failing to load
    Bugs are endless
    Reply
  • bikeordie1
    TH Comments = I no longer consider them to rank at the top of tech sites. HOWEVER they have improved their rankings in my incompetency scale. An achievement to match the likes of AMD's 220w TDP
    Reply
  • JPNpower
    There's one computing device Nvidia will never get. My brain.

    But then again Apple has successfully taken over the brains of Californians so it ain't impossible
    Reply
  • 1991ATServerTower
    Anyone else hope that Linus or the Free Software Foundation gets a license? You know, so maybe we'll get better Linux drivers?

    Alternately, I am surprised that no one is talking about Intel using this to make APUs that don't suck. I really like AMD (and ATi), but when you factor in the power and ipc advantages that Intel CPUs have over AMD's in with the ability for Intel to put them on the same die as a real Geforce GPU, then what is left for AMD to shine at?

    Still, AMD rocks for putting all the instruction sets on all their CPUs (hello $42 AMD APUs that have more features than $129 Intel CPUs) as well as unlocked multipliers on sub $80 processors.

    I really don't want to see Intel steal AMD's thunder again (as they did with 64bit and quad core performance), but given Intel's resources it seems like a logical concern.
    Reply
  • deftonian
    Nvidia would be smart to drop the prices of GPUs. Since AMD took a huge investment in console gaming, now is where Nvidia can show the world that a dedicated GPU in a PC will outperform a new console any day. Also, drop those prices so the PC market will get back on track. Quit trying to make up revenue by increasing prices when in fact, it only segregates the market more. The higher the prices you will only keep the business of enthusiasts. Lower the prices and bring in more business by hitting the average gamer class and people who can't afford to drop $500 on just a GPU.
    Reply
  • 1991ATServerTower
    I wouldn't say that Nvidia's pricing is poor in the mainstream market. The 650, 650ti and the 650 Boost products are well priced pretty much the same as the 7750, 7770, 7850, and 7790 parts from AMD. Their performance is similar as well. That seems to be reasonably well managed.
    Reply
  • renz496
    11002045 said:
    Nvidia would be smart to drop the prices of GPUs. Since AMD took a huge investment in console gaming, now is where Nvidia can show the world that a dedicated GPU in a PC will outperform a new console any day. Also, drop those prices so the PC market will get back on track. Quit trying to make up revenue by increasing prices when in fact, it only segregates the market more. The higher the prices you will only keep the business of enthusiasts. Lower the prices and bring in more business by hitting the average gamer class and people who can't afford to drop $500 on just a GPU.

    The thing is nvidia has no problem to sell their card. Company will only drop price when the sales are low or to clear invitory. No need to drop price if your card are selling just fine as it is. More money means they can fund their R&D better. Also dont expect the flagship model for both company to be cheap.



    Reply
  • witcherx
    why?
    because console market taken over by amd..
    this is what any company will do when it seeing its competitors success.
    Reply