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

Intel Insists That Nvidia Has No Legal Rights to Sell Nehalem-Compatible Chipsets

by Anton Shilov
02/18/2009 | 10:08 AM

Intel Corp. on Wednesday confirmed that it had filed a lawsuit against Nvidia Corp. in order to ban Nvidia from making and selling its nForce or GeForce chipsets compatible with Intel’s processors featuring integrated memory controller.


“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,” said Daniel Snyder, a spokesman for Intel.

Intel also accused Nvidia of breaching an agreement by claiming that it does have license to make chipsets compatible with Intel Core i7 microprocessors that use quick-path interconnect (QPI) bus to connect to other components of the system as well as for other similar processors.

“Nvidia has breached the agreement with Intel by falsely claiming that it is licensed [to produce chipsets compatible with Nehalem],” Mr. Snyder said.

Intel also stressed that it has been trying to negotiate with Nvidia over a new license, but the result was negative.

“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,” added the spokesman.

Earlier on Monday the 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. Jen-Hsun 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.