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NVIDIA strikes back against Intel

post #1 of 29
Thread Starter 
GPU maker NVIDIA has fired back a countersuit against Intel in response to Intel's suit to block NVIDIA from making controller chips for future generations of Intel's processors.

NVIDIA's complaint says the two companies have "met and attempted to resolve this dispute and have participated in a private mediation process." However, the matter still has not been resolved, despite what NVIDIA described as diligent efforts to come to an agreement with Intel in 2008.

Intel is insisting that its existing agreement with NVIDIA does not apply to its next generation Nehalem CPUs, the same chips Apple is now using in the new Mac Pro. This prevents NVIDIA from making a compatible chipset Apple can use in Macs based on the new processor.

Apple shifted from using Intel's support chipsets to NVIDIA last year in the unibody MacBooks, and migrated the rest of its consumer offerings, including the iMac and Mac mini, to the same NVIDIA control chip last month. Without a future roadmap for NVIDIA control chips, Apple may have to reconsider its existing strategies, which heavily leverage GPU technology with the NVIDIA-supported OpenCL.

The NVIDIA countersuit

NVIDIA maintains in its countersuit claims that "Intel has manufactured this licensing dispute as part of a calculated strategy to eliminate NVIDIA as a competitive threat."

"For years," NVIDIA's complaint states, "Intel has dominated the lucrative field of central processing units, with Intel's graphics offering being an afterthought. NVIDIA, in contrast, correctly predicted that graphics processing would become increasingly important to computer technology and pioneered sophisticated graphics products, including innovative new graphics processing units."

NVIDIA says that "after years of dominating the computer processing space, Intel found it self needing to play catch-up to NVIDIA's pioneering graphics processing technology," which resulted in Intel licensing NVIDIA's "entire patent portfolio" in 2004, in exchange for granting NVIDIA "a broad, long-term license to make chipsets for Intel's CPUs."

"Unable to compete on the merits," NVIDIA says, "Intel is now using this lawsuit to tilt the playing field decidedly in its favor." The complaint says Intel has not only blocked NVIDIA from competing by seeking to add arbitrary new exclusions to their existing agreement (specifically blocking NVIDIA from creating chipsets for CPUs that include a memory controller, as Nehalem CPUs do), but has also damaged NVIDIA's business by publicly announcing that it believes NVIDIA is not licensed to build chipsets for future Intel CPUs.

NVIDIA claims that sales of its "undisputedly licensed MCPs [control chips] to current Intel architectures are also being affected as Intel uses its public disavowal of the license to alarm customers into believing that NVIDIA's chipsets will soon be unusable with Intel platforms."

The complaint asks that Intel's rights to NVIDIA's patent portfolio under the cross license "be terminated in their entirety," depriving Intel of using NVIDIA's graphics technology as long as it blocks NVIDIA's ability to build licensed versions of chipsets compatible with Intel's latest CPUs.
post #2 of 29
I hope this doesn't hose Apple's Grand Central/Open CL plans.
post #3 of 29
Intel not licensing Nehalem architecture smacks of Monopoly abuse here. They're
just too big to get away with cherry picking what vendors get to license their technology.

I'm sure they're smarting because Nvidia ate their Mac chipset lunch but it's their fault for shipping asstastic GMA graphics. They need to compete better.


Personally I wasn't sure how Nvidia would do on a large scale as the chipset provider but other than the soldering glitch in some Macbooks they've been solid though they need to get with Apple and improve the graphics drivers in the 9400/9600 stuff. They're not benching as fast as I'd like to see.

I want to see what Nvidia can do with Nehalem.
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post #4 of 29
Hope NVIDIA wins, Intel's GPU's are SHITE and everyone knows it.
iPad, Macbook Pro, iPhone, heck I even have iLife! :-)
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post #5 of 29
This reminds me of the "browser wars". Just like Microsoft claimed that Internet Explorer was inseparable from their OS, Intel will be taking the same defense saying that their chipset is integral with their CPU. I hope NVIDIA doesn't end up like Netscape and I pray a technically versed judge gets these cases.

Also... I can't believe NVIDIA would license their patent portfolio to Intel but I guess you do whatever you have to in order to get your foot in the door. Too bad...Intel now has the blueprints and you don't have to infringe on a patent in order to get a lot of good ideas.

Jen-Hsun Huang on Charlie Rose:
http://www.charlierose.com/view/interview/10060
post #6 of 29
NVIDIA is paying for an existing license to make chipsets but Intel says that doesn't include the Nehalem chipset. I bet its not so much Intel isn't letting NVIDIA license the new chipset but it's that Intel isn't letting NVIDIA license the new chipset for free. They want to create a new agreement with additional fees. The fact that they've been in talks definite suggests this.

So, basically, Intel is being greedy and/or NVIDIA is being cheap. Either way, we'll have to pay for it.

-mark

I own...

1 Android Phone, 2 iPads, 1 Windows Tablet, 1 Mac Desktop, 1 Windows Laptop, 1 Linux Server, 1 Linux HTPC

 

They all are used regularly and each have their place. Competition is good.

Reply

I own...

1 Android Phone, 2 iPads, 1 Windows Tablet, 1 Mac Desktop, 1 Windows Laptop, 1 Linux Server, 1 Linux HTPC

 

They all are used regularly and each have their place. Competition is good.

Reply
post #7 of 29
I don't know about you guys but this is a real negative with respect to Intels public image. Further it hurts Intel because it has a negative impact on the availability of systems with quality graphics. Even if Intel could make a successful GPU reducing your customer choice isn't inspiring for those customers.

I just can't see any good coming out of this conflict for Intel win or loose.



Dave
post #8 of 29
Quote:
Originally Posted by Máedóc View Post

This reminds me of the "browser wars". Just like
Also... I can't believe NVIDIA would license their patent portfolio to Intel but I guess you do whatever you have to in order to get your foot in the door. Too bad...Intel now has the blueprints and you don't have to infringe on a patent in order to get a lot of good ideas.

Actually all patents are published into the public domain when the patent is granted. The protection that patents afford is that non-licensed companies are not allowed to use them for the period of time that the patent is in force. This is the trade off a company must make when seeking patent protection. Companies can keep ideas secret and try to use trade secrecy laws to keep others from using those ideas, but this is much more difficult and does not preclude others from "developing" the same idea independently and then using them.
post #9 of 29
If it gets too ugly, Intel has about $12B in cash and nVidia has a market cap
of under $6B, so a hostile takeover would be doable. Whether it is a good
idea for either company or for consumers is another question.
post #10 of 29
This isn't primarily about GPUs but chipsets. You can get Nvidia GPUs with the current Mac Pro but it's not an Nvidia motherboard. Therefore, Intel aren't stopping people getting good graphics performance. It would be a stupid move to restrict GPU usage because people would be supporting AMD instead.

We won't really see the effect of the move until 2010 when the mobile chips move to the new architecture. Then Nvidia won't be able to supply integrated graphics solutions. By then, Intel's Larrabee will be in production though so it may not matter from a consumer perspective if they deliver decent performance.

The move is still a fairly anti-competitive one and I would hope Nvidia win the case. I don't see a merger/buyout between Intel and Nvidia.
post #11 of 29
Quote:
Originally Posted by mrmdavis View Post

Actually all patents are published into the public domain when the patent is granted. The protection that patents afford is that non-licensed companies are not allowed to use them for the period of time that the patent is in force. This is the trade off a company must make when seeking patent protection.

You are absolutely right but I was (probably mistakenly) under the impression, from other articles, that there was also some private domain info exchanged in the deal.
post #12 of 29
Quote:
Originally Posted by Marvin View Post

This isn't primarily about GPUs but chipsets. You can get Nvidia GPUs with the current Mac Pro but it's not an Nvidia motherboard. Therefore, Intel aren't stopping people getting good graphics performance. It would be a stupid move to restrict GPU usage because people would be supporting AMD instead.

We won't really see the effect of the move until 2010 when the mobile chips move to the new architecture. Then Nvidia won't be able to supply integrated graphics solutions. By then, Intel's Larrabee will be in production though so it may not matter from a consumer perspective if they deliver decent performance.

The move is still a fairly anti-competitive one and I would hope Nvidia win the case. I don't see a merger/buyout between Intel and Nvidia.

Larrabee is a discrete GPU. In any case, due to the integration of the memory controller to the CPU, it's no longer possible to produce a GPU integrated to the chipset with reasonable performance. nVidia should focus on producing low-cost, more energy-efficient GPUs instead.
post #13 of 29
Quote:
Originally Posted by Cubert View Post

I hope this doesn't hose Apple's Grand Central/Open CL plans.

They could simply include discrete graphics on all their products. Their premium price point cannot justify the use of Intel integrated graphics.
post #14 of 29
Fug Intel! They are nothing but a bunch of theives and alawys have been. They use other companies technology for their own benifit and then try to screw them over. They are also trying to screw AMD over right now. I hate that company. The only intel product i use is my macbook. other than that ive never have and never will own another intel product.
post #15 of 29
Regardless of outcome, NVIDIA should start making x64 chips themselves to compete with Larrabee. Ars Technica had something about a rumor suggesting NVIDIA is going to compete with Atom, its just a step up to compete with x64! After the experience I've had on my unibody Macbook Pro, I'd use NVIDIA any day over intel.
post #16 of 29
Quote:
Originally Posted by MarquisMark View Post

So, basically, Intel is being greedy and/or NVIDIA is being cheap. Either way, we'll have to pay for it.
-mark

Really, its Intel trying to get fees, and NVIDIA saying they've already "paid" them by offering their IP under the previous agreement. NVIDIA, I assume, entered that agreement under the assumption that they would have chipset rights to all future processors. Intel probably included memory controller in their definition of chipset. By integrating the memory controller with the processor, Intel is not trying to use what's essentially a loophole to say they only allowed chipset w/ a memory controller and that a chipset w/o one is not covered in the agreement. If NVIDIA was never informed that Intel planned for this combination in their future processors, then they should win the case. If they knew that Intel was planning this change, then they should have hired better lawyers to bring up such a possibility.

Anywho, I totally agree that Intel is being vindictive b/c NVIDIA is now the star of Mac-town. Wonder if Apple brass are talking w/ AMD at all while this plays itself out?
post #17 of 29
I'm a big fan of AMD. If Apple went AMD would that lower their pricepoints? Hmm....

Malo periculosam, libertatem quam quietam servitutem.

(I prefer the tumult of liberty to the quiet of servitude.)

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Malo periculosam, libertatem quam quietam servitutem.

(I prefer the tumult of liberty to the quiet of servitude.)

Reply
post #18 of 29
I wish Apple would lean on Intel and threatem them to work with AMD in the future. I was hoping Apple would make a deal with AMD instead of with Intel. If Apple would team up with Nvidia and AMD to compete with WinTel machines, we would have a nice competition going on, which will hurt Microsoft and Intel's dominant position. Microsoft is already felling the pain of Apple gaining ground on them.

I wonder what your guys thoughts are on this? I like AMD. They are the underdog and would welcome Apple and bend to Apple's needs to compete with Intel.
post #19 of 29
Quote:
Originally Posted by Pfister4u View Post

That would work if Apple had more than 10% of the market share.

You can't tell me that this wasn't skillfully planned by MS and Intel.

With Windows 7 coming they see Apple as the same little spoiled kids you were in the 80's.

Go with the Market Share and let Apple sink.

You are paying for a logo. Same parts as a PC, made in China (look at the Mac track record lately on all brands including the iPhone (unstable). And you can build one from parts from Radio Shack. Look at Psystar they are doing it and Apple has yet to answer.

Apple is the Vista of the last 7 years.

This literally made me laugh out loud. Thanks, I needed that.

Malo periculosam, libertatem quam quietam servitutem.

(I prefer the tumult of liberty to the quiet of servitude.)

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Malo periculosam, libertatem quam quietam servitutem.

(I prefer the tumult of liberty to the quiet of servitude.)

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post #20 of 29
Quote:
Originally Posted by Pfister4u View Post

Laugh all the way to the bank for your next Mac. I'll just use my ATM Card to purchase the same machine without the logo on it.

NAME ONE PART IN YOUR MAC THAT CAN'T BE PURCHASED OFF THE SHELF.

THE BATTERY.

WHEN YOU ARE READY TO UPGRADE YOUR 15" POUR BOOK GET READY TO SHELL OUT $1,200 TO GET 8GB OF RAM.

Yawn. You're not even a good Troll.
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post #21 of 29
Quote:
Originally Posted by Pfister4u View Post

Laugh all the way to the bank for your next Mac. I'll just use my ATM Card to purchase the same machine without the logo on it.

NAME ONE PART IN YOUR MAC THAT CAN'T BE PURCHASED OFF THE SHELF.

THE BATTERY.

WHEN YOU ARE READY TO UPGRADE YOUR 15" POUR BOOK GET READY TO SHELL OUT $1,200 TO GET 8GB OF RAM.

Ok, try adding 8GB of RAM to Dell's Adamo. You can't. Dell Inspiron 15 which starts at $399? DDR2 and you still can't. XPS M1350 starting at $1100? DDR2 and an extra $600. Lets try the Lenovo T500 starting at 1200? Double that for 8GB of DDR3 (its actually $1210, but who's really counting?).

Next time do your research.
post #22 of 29
Quote:
Originally Posted by jazzguru View Post

I'm a big fan of AMD. If Apple went AMD would that lower their pricepoints? Hmm....

Does AMD have competitive mobile chips? I think that was the biggest stumbling block in the past.
post #23 of 29
OK, I'll bite. I shouldn't, but whatever. If you came here just to try to raise a shitstorm, then you've come to the wrong place.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Pfister4u View Post

Laugh all the way to the bank for your next Mac. I'll just use my ATM Card to purchase the same machine without the logo on it.

NAME ONE PART IN YOUR MAC THAT CAN'T BE PURCHASED OFF THE SHELF.

THE BATTERY.

That's not a thoughrough list. Does anyone else sell a multitouch touchpad? How about the unibody chassis? Is there any counterpart to that? Do any other notebook computers have a backlit keyboard? What proportion of Windows computers consistently wake from sleep?

Quote:
WHEN YOU ARE READY TO UPGRADE YOUR 15" POUR BOOK GET READY TO SHELL OUT $1,200 TO GET 8GB OF RAM.

What is the equivalent from another notebook brand? What do they charge to upgrade to 8GB of DDR3?
post #24 of 29
Quote:
Originally Posted by Pfister4u View Post

Dell for the unibody.
http://www.adamobydell.com/

Bad example, given your previous begging for a cheap computer. Adamo is more expensive and slower than the Apple counterpart. As it is, the chassis isn't an off the shelf part.

Quote:
As for the 8gb of Ram, Vista has always been offered in 64bit but since no software other than Adobe CS4 takes advantage of it no many have upgrqaded.

Even if no single app can use all of 8GB, it helps if you use multiple large programs.

But I didn't ask what software can use it, I asked what it costs to get 8GB in a competing notebook from the manufacturer, since you were the one whining about $1200 for 8GB of notebook RAM. Complaining about Apple doing it doesn't work if the other companies do charge the same for the same upgrade, which you ignored such examples. I don't think it matters what brand you buy, you're usually best off buying the memory separately and upgrading it yourself.
post #25 of 29
Quote:
Originally Posted by floccus View Post

Ok, try adding 8GB of RAM to Dell's Adamo. You can't.

You can't add any ram to Apple's Air either.
post #26 of 29
Quote:
Originally Posted by JeffDM View Post

What proportion of Windows computers consistently wake from sleep?

I forgot about that...bad memories.

The answer, of course, is none when you have forgotten to save your work before shutting the lid and running to your next class.

Good mention though. I never see that one come up.
post #27 of 29
Moderators, please delete user Pfister4u.
post #28 of 29
Unfortunately Apple would never move to AMD. It would be way too risky and probably put a little hurt on their company because they would have to allow their OS to run with AMD CPU's without running a panic kernel. So.... basically because Mac OS X would run on AMD, Intel, and Power PC CPU's, you would no longer need a mac to run their OS. A group of people out in California have already tweaked with Mac Leopard allowing people to install OS X on non native hardware such as AMD CPU's and Apple making the switch over would just make this project that much easier. Sorry if this is jumbled hopefully you guys can get what i am saying. Intel sucks btw. All the company does is use existing technology to further their own advances such as leaching off nVidia's technology to try and further their crap GMA GPU's and AMD hold's many patents that Intel uses. AMD came up with the technology long before Intel knew what was going on such as 64bit CPU's and hyper threading technology not to mention the new Intel iCore7 CPU architecture is almost identical to AMD's phenom CPU's which once again have been on the market for a much longer time. And what Intel does is after using another companies technology they come back and try to F' them over. Right now obviously they are trying to screw nVidia and i also heard that they are trying to get AMD to stop making x86 CPU's after they have already been using AMD's technology.

Hope that makes sense, im kind of bad with wording.
post #29 of 29
Quote:
Originally Posted by smcbeaven View Post

Sorry if this is jumbled hopefully you guys can get what i am saying.

Here's a tip. Use paragraphs. Hit <Enter> twice between your thoughts.

Without paragraphs we're reading the first 1/3 of your post at most. It's just too hard to wade through all those words...

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