Intel Wants Court to Ban Nvidia from Making Chipsets for Latest Processors

Nvidia Claims that Cross-Licensing Agreement with Intel Cover All Future Processors

by Anton Shilov
02/18/2009 | 07:28 AM

FOLLOW UP: Intel Confirms Lawsuit Against Nvidia: “We Have Been in Discussions for More Than a Year”.


Intel Corp. on Monday reportedly filed a case in Court of Chancery in the State of Delaware in a bid to ban Nvidia from making core-logic sets compatible with Intel’s Core i7 processors and its derivatives with integrated memory controller. In response, Nvidia Corp. said that it was sure that it has right to sell chipsets for Core i7 and other chips and that Intel wants to slowdown evolution of graphics chips with the court filing.

“We are confident that our license, as negotiated, applies,” said Jen-Hsun Huang, president and chief executive officer of Nvidia.

The filing does not impact Nvidia chipsets that are currently being shipped, but Intel insists that the cross-licensing agreement the companies signed back in 2004 does not extend to Intel’s future generation central processing units with integrated memory controllers, such as code-named Nehalem family, which includes Intel Core i7 processors and their derivatives.

Intel has not commented on the issue by the time of publication.

Nvidia’s chief executive accused Intel of trying to slowdown the evolution of graphics processing units as well as Nvidia’s chipsets so to be able to control Intel-based PC platforms itself.

“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,” claimed Mr. Huang.

Mr. Huang said 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. According the chief of Nvidia, technologies like Nvidia Ion (integrated core-logic for Intel Atom and other processors), SLI (multi-GPU rendering), Hybrid power (ability to switch between integrated and discrete graphics core), and CUDA (programming language for GeForce GPUs) threaten Intel’s ability to control the PC platform.