NVIDIA and Intel, two names that are highly known and accredited for their amazing power and ground breaking technology. This time the two names are not working together but have had to take it to the courts to settle an ongoign battle between the two giants.
“NVIDIA and Intel have always had an interesting relationship, consisting of a dash of mutual respect and a whole lot of under-the-collar disdain. And with situations such as these, it’s easy to understand why. NVIDIA today has come forward with a response to a recent Intel court filing in which Intel alleges that the four-year-old chipset license agreement the companies signed does not extend to Intel’s future generation CPUs with ‘integrated’ memory controllers, such as Nehalem.
NVIDIA is quick to point out that this filing doesn’t impact chipsets that are currently being shipped, and Jen-Hsun Huang, company president and CEO, had this to say about the whole ordeal: We are confident that our license, as negotiated, applies. 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. Ouch, and double ouch!
The graphics maker has stated that it entered into the agreement in 2004 in order to bring platform innovations to Intel CPU based systems; in return, Intel took a license to NVIDIA’s rich portfolio of 3D, GPU, and other computing patents. Mr. Huang explained that given 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. Innovations like ION, SLI, Hybrid power, and CUDA threaten Intel’s ability to control the PC platform. In case you haven’t noticed, Jen-Hsun isn’t afraid of saying what he truly feels in public, but given NVIDIA’s dominance in the space in which it competes, we suppose he can get away with such quips.
We know we’re only getting one side of the story here, but NVIDIA claims that it has been making attempts to remedy this problem in a fair and reasonable manner for over a year now. Obviously, the lawyers have now been called in to handle things in a more formal manner. Like all Intel vs. NVIDIA squabbles, this too should be interesting to see play out.
Update: We have received a response from Intel on the matter. Intel has filed suit against NVIDIA seeking a declaratory judgment over rights associated with two agreements between the companies. The suit seeks to have the court declare that NVIDIA is not licensed to produce chipsets that are compatible with any Intel processor that has integrated memory controller functionality, such as Intel’s Nehalem microprocessors and that NVIDIA has breached the agreement with Intel by falsely claiming that it is licensed. Intel has been in discussions with NVIDIA for more than a year attempting to resolve the matter but unfortunately we were unsuccessful. As a result Intel is asking the court to resolve this dispute. It is our hope that this dispute will not impact other areas of our companies’ working relationship.”
Only time will tell to see how these two organisations will come out of the courts.