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NVIDIA accuses Intel of fighting innovation with lawsuit

post #1 of 14
Thread Starter 
A legal dispute between two chip giants turned bitter on Thursday when NVIDIA characterized a recent lawsuit from Intel as a low-blow effort to save its "decaying" CPU business by squeezing its competitors out of the market.

In a statement sent to AppleInsider, NVIDIA took Intel's allegations head-on and attempted to recast the issue as a transition between old and new technologies, insisting that a patent license agreement it signed with the chipmaker back in 2004 affords it the right to develop chipsets for both current and future generations of Intel processors.

"We are confident that our license, as negotiated, applies," said NVIDIA president and chief executive Jen-Hsun Huang. "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," he added.

Intel, which sued the graphics technology leader in Delaware Chancery Court earlier this week, begs to differ. The world's largest chipmaker maintains that the 2004 agreement does not cover chipsets compatible with its forthcoming line of 'Nehalem' processors that incorporate integrated memory controllers, for which it believes NVIDIA is planning a new round of supporting chipsets.

For its part, NVIDIA claims to have tried for over a year to resolve the dispute between the two Santa Clara, Calif.-based firms "in a fair and reasonable manner." It chalks the lawsuit up to an act of desperation now that GPUs have gained prominence at the expense of traditional processors, such as those manufactured by Intel.

"Since signing the agreement, NVIDIA has offered innovations such as SLI, Hybrid power, and CUDA parallel processing. ION, the most recent innovation, integrates a powerful NVIDIA GPU, north bridge and south bridge into one compact die," NVIDIA said.Â*"When combined with a CPU, ION enables a two-chip PC architecture for Intel processors two years ahead of IntelÂs own solution."

NVIDIA also pointed to Apple's embrace of its new MCP79 chipset platform for its entire new line of notebooks including the MacBook Classic, MacBook Air, MacBook and MacBook Pro. The Mac maker was the first mainstream vendor to drop chipsets developed by Intel for those manufactured by NVIDIA. The move is believed to be a long-term technology shift on Apple's part, one which would be placed in jeopardy should Intel ultimately prevail with its lawsuit.

"Today, companies like Acer, Alienware, Asus, Dell, Falcon Northwest, Fujitsu, Gigabyte, HP, Lenovo, MSI, NEC, and Toshiba all ship exciting innovations created by NVIDIA as a result of its agreement with Intel," Huang said. "[G]iven 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."

In the one shred of common ground surrounding the matter, both companies agree that their respective and current products are not part of this dispute. An Intel spokesperson told AppleInsider that the company hopes the two tech giants can continue to do business together going forward.
post #2 of 14
The thing that worries me about this is that nVidia is "talking trash" rather than replying in substance. Typically, in any dispute of this type, the one talking the trash has the weakest position and is making a big noise to cover that fact up. If you see two guys arguing in the street, the one talking the loudest and meanest is always the one that's in the wrong.

That being said, Jen Hsun Wang has some kind of reputation for this kind of language so maybe not. But if the crucial point is whether or not the license is limited to the current chipset or future chipsets, that doesn't seem like an issue that would be unclear in any way. It should be set out in clear language in the contract that can be pointed to and the fact that nVidia hasn't pointed to it yet is kind of worrying.
In Windows, a window can be a document, it can be an application, or it can be a window that contains other documents or applications. Theres just no consistency. Its just a big grab bag of monkey...
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In Windows, a window can be a document, it can be an application, or it can be a window that contains other documents or applications. Theres just no consistency. Its just a big grab bag of monkey...
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post #3 of 14
I think I'm with Nvidia on this one. If their is an agreement and Nvidia isn't violating Intel's IP. The only reason Intel would file a lawsuit is because Nvidia is beating them at their own game.
post #4 of 14
Well shit, NVIDIA... you didn't actually expect them to compete, did you?
The true measure of a man is how he treats someone that can do him absolutely no good.
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The true measure of a man is how he treats someone that can do him absolutely no good.
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post #5 of 14
Regardless of which side is correct, why does Intel suck at GPU design????? Maybe they should answer that question first.
Hard-Core.
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Hard-Core.
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post #6 of 14
The biggest problem is that when Apple decides to switch its notebooks to a Nehalem-based processor (which will come at the end of this year), it will be forced to go with Intel's crappy graphics. The only mobile chip Intel will release that doesn't come with integrated graphics packaged with the chip is the quad-core Clarksfield, which is too hot for most Apple notebooks. Going back to Intel graphics will be a huge downgrade, unless they go with discrete graphics, which hurts battery life.
post #7 of 14
Quote:
Originally Posted by whatever00 View Post

The biggest problem is that when Apple decides to switch its notebooks to a Nehalem-based processor (which will come at the end of this year), it will be forced to go with Intel's crappy graphics. The only mobile chip Intel will release that doesn't come with integrated graphics packaged with the chip is the quad-core Clarksfield, which is too hot for most Apple notebooks. Going back to Intel graphics will be a huge downgrade, unless they go with discrete graphics, which hurts battery life.

What does AMD have to offer? Not that Apple would go with them because that would anger Intel and Nvidia.
post #8 of 14
Quote:
Originally Posted by aplnub View Post

Regardless of which side is correct, why does Intel suck at GPU design????? Maybe they should answer that question first.


Yea, that's a good question. I'm not in the chip field but it seems to me Intel has the financial resources for a major push in the direction, in-house access to an incredible brain trust, and an unequaled familiarity with its own products.... which makes me wonder: does domination of the trifecta --- CPU, Chipset, and GPU --- invite a world of anti-trust hurt? Could Intel strive for unexciting graphics solutions to avoid a tipping-point of scrutiny were it to target cutting or bleeding edge GPU ambitions?


If that's the case, could it be that with Nvidia in a push to remove one of above three legs and build a two-legged, CPU and Chipset-GPU stool, Intel sees itself squeezed between keeping anti-trust dogs at bay and at the dawn of a promising technological direction it can’t afford to miss?


Might Intel want to stall Nvidia's push to see how the AMD-Ati merger ultimately shakes down with competition regulators and review bodies? Or, perhaps it's the AMD-Ati merger itself, a further contraction of market players, that Intel thinks will invite anti-trust bodies to review its market dominance should it develop its own two-legged stool?

Or, is this legal shot across the Nvidia bow a start to batter and bruise it up before Intel makes an acquisition play?


Hmm…
post #9 of 14
Quote:
Originally Posted by Virgil-TB2 View Post

The thing that worries me about this is that nVidia is "talking trash" rather than replying in substance. Typically, in any dispute of this type, the one talking the trash has the weakest position and is making a big noise to cover that fact up. If you see two guys arguing in the street, the one talking the loudest and meanest is always the one that's in the wrong.

Interesting observation. It seems to be true in the Psystar and iPear instances, but how do you
evaluate the pissing between Palm and Apple, where both sides have been woofing?
post #10 of 14
This dispute should be settled out of Court. As I see it:


Intel's problem is that they didn't buy a graphic card maker like AMD bought ATI to spruce up its own graphic chips;

Intel will face a monopolistic behaviour anti-trust investigation and possible accusations if it doesn't licence nVidia to produce graphic chips suitable for the Core i7 CPU family (code name: Nehalem);

Intel should have no problem to license nVidia to produce graphic chips and chipsets for Core i7 CPUs;

nVidia is a fabless designer of graphic chips which are licensed to various manufacturers for inclusion in integrated chipsets and graphic cards;

Intel could solve its long term problem by licensing nVidia designs for inclusion in Intel integrated chipsets - and - agree to allow nVidia to manufacture integrated chipsets and graphic cards for the Core i7 family of processors;

Fair compensation is the only issue. Arbitration is available if lawyers cannot negociate in good faith.

But you cannot force anyone to buy Intel chipsets, unless they are really good. Do you hear me, Intel?


\\\
post #11 of 14
I use an NVidia GPU in my PC, but am not a big fan of their mobo chipsets. The fact of Intel chipsets in the new Macs is actually putting me off a bit.

I hope the next Mac Pro revision still uses Intel. Do NVidia even do a Xeon chipset?
post #12 of 14
Quote:
Originally Posted by aplnub View Post

Regardless of which side is correct, why does Intel suck at GPU design????? Maybe they should answer that question first.

Precisely, why the F*K can't Intel make a GPU that doesn't majorly blow chunks. WHY.
post #13 of 14
Quote:
Originally Posted by ascii View Post

Do NVidia even do a Xeon chipset?


That is precisely the question. nVidia is licensed to do graphic chips suitable for the Penryn (Core 2 Duo and Core 2 Quad) family of processors, but Intel contends that nVidia cannot design a graphic chip for the Core i7 (code name: Nehalem) family of processors, including the upcoming March 29, 2009 Xeons.

My belief is that nVidia is currently designing a graphic chipset for use in Core i7 iMacs, hence Intel's Court procedures and the delay in introducing refreshed iMacs.

Just my 2¢.
post #14 of 14
Modern Motherboards should be nothing more than a State of the art NVidia Graphics card sharing a PCIe Bus with a 800MB/sec SSD boot drive and have sockets for CPU and RAM

The graphics card would not be required to do any heavy lifting untill the OS boots up anyway so it could easily share its bus with the boot drive and have a seperate SATA interface for your content and work drives

Current "State of the Art" motherboards should be rotting in a dumpground or saved as museum curiosities
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