Nvidia and AMD Sued Over Power Management in Chips

Power Management Solutions, a Frisco- Texas-based company with no traceable corporate history, claims that it is entitled to damages relating to patent number 5,504,909, which the company says is infringed by AMD and Nvidia.

The patent, titled "Power management apparatus collocated on the same integrated circuit (IC) as the functional unit that it manages" was filed by Electronics Products Company in January 1994 and approved by the USPTO in April 1996. Power Management Solutions claims it has the rights to the patent, even if the USPTO did not list Power Management Solutions as the rightful owner at the time of this writing. Intel and Freescale were sued by Power Management Solutions over the same patent back in August of last year. There is no information on the proceedings of these cases.

The patent in question describes the idea to control electricity flow via on and off switches "between the co-resident functional circuit I/O nets and the integrated circuit I/O pads" as well as between internal and external ICs. The basic idea covers power being routed "from an external power supply through the power gating means to the internal functional circuit" using switches and a second electrical signal is being employed to control "the coupling action in the power gating means."

  • alvine
    Power management solutions just wants money
  • computernerdforlife
    Motive: money
    Reasoning behind this lawsuit: stupidity

    Life goes on.
  • trumpeter1994
    Lol goodluck with that power management solutions, your gonna considering your not rightfully listed as the owner and your trying to sue corporate giants.
  • classzero
    Ha Ha Ha, US patent system sucks. Reform please.
  • Northwestern
    Behold, a good example as to how patent office is being abused to halt technological advances.
  • yyk71200
    I just had a thought. In order to experience damages, shouldn't one company be in direct competition with another? That is, shouldn't one company have a product that directly competes with another such as one GPU vs. GPU? If the products aren't in competition with each other (such as GPUs and PSUs), what kind of damages we are talking about?
  • Murissokah
    The biggest stupidity is not the fact that they are sueing over such a minor technology, but the fact that the patent was awarded in the first place. How come someone gets a patent for "integrating" two existing technologies? Everything gets integrated eventually.
  • It's just extortion, using lawyers instead of the mobsters.
  • jaber2
    If everyone is using thier idea without paying royalties then they are entitled to the damages. but we all know it was just an unproven idea, it took these companies to try out and come up with the right configuration to make it work, so it could have been first one who actually came up with a solution using thier idea whom should have gotten the pattent.
  • moonzy
    I thought we were all supposed to be joining hands to celebrate A Brave New GREENER World?