Friday, March 27th 2009

NVIDIA Files Countersuit Against Intel

NVIDIA Corporation today announced that it has filed a countersuit in the Court of Chancery in the State of Delaware against Intel Corporation for breach of contract. The action also seeks to terminate Intel's license to NVIDIA's valuable patent portfolio.
NVIDIA's countersuit was brought in response to a filing by Intel last month in the Delaware court, alleging that the four-year-old chipset license agreement does not extend to Intel's future generation CPUs with "integrated" memory controllers, such as its Nehalem processor.
"NVIDIA did not initiate this legal dispute," said Jen-Hsun Huang, president and CEO of NVIDIA. "But we must defend ourselves and the rights we negotiated for when we provided Intel access to our valuable patents. Intel's actions are intended to block us from making use of the very license rights that they agreed to provide."

NVIDIA entered into the disputed agreement in 2004 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. NVIDIA had been attempting for more than a year to resolve the disagreement with Intel in a fair and reasonable manner.

To read Intel's initial filing, go to:
http://www.nvidia.com/object/io_1238021549708.html

To read NVIDIA's response and counterclaim, go to:
http://www.nvidia.com/object/io_1238021621363.htmlSource: NVIDIA
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28 Comments on NVIDIA Files Countersuit Against Intel

#1
laszlo
i read both filing and i think intel has a point;intel want to sell all nehalem platform with own chipsets and integrated gpu at matx - this is the main reason of this battle

if intel win nvidia lose a lot basically they will be able to produce discrete gpu and chipsets for amd and other custumers..

i think intel is preparing a real gpu behind the scene...
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#2
chaotic_uk
so intel are going after nvidia as well as amd , what is it nowdays with all the claims and counter claims nowdays ?
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#3
FordGT90Concept
"I go fast!1!11!1!"
This was inevitable. I think Intel will win it because the chipet structure for Nehalem is a completely different beast and it is in Intel's right to require an updated license to make chips for the platform. I think NVIDA should have paid up. This is a battle they can't win.

I think Mr. Huang hasn't realized he is currently digging NVIDIA's grave. NVIDIA can't afford enemies right now because they are at risk of being kicked out of the chipset market entirely by both AMD and Intel.


This is just another example of NVIDIA being the kid in the corner no one wants to talk to.
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#4
deaffob
lol this is same bs happening all over again and again and again....
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#5
Haytch
Hmm interesting . . . . Reading filings from both parties, bbl.
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#6
buggalugs
I know they all sue each other but Nvidia seem to be hated by everyone. Nvidia have a reputation for bullying and aggressive business practices. They need to chill the heck out and hire a good PR guy because their image sucks.
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#7
cdawall
where the hell are my stars
nv should win this the chipset design changing should make no difference in this. Intel needs to stop pulling this crap. this is why when SLi didn't work on X58 NV didn't fix it if intel would just stop being a group of money-hogging assholes they wouldn't have a bunch of suits filed against them now
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#8
Papahyooie
Im not quite getting this, I understood that the Nehalem doesnt have an external northbridge (or rather a memory controller) so why does intel want to make memory controllers for it if it doesnt have them? Or does this block them from making the entire chipset including southbridge, etc? Im assuming thats whats going on. That will suck, no more Nvidia Intel Motherboards?
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#9
ThorAxe
The agreement appears too vague to preclude the Nehalem architecture.

Any reasonable person would expect an x86 chipset license to extend to future x86 CPUs.

I think Intel are just trying to find a loophole and are about to get burned.
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#10
buggalugs
by: ThorAxe
The agreement appears too vague to preclude the Nehalem architecture.

Any reasonable person would expect an x86 chipset license to extend to future x86 CPUs.

I think Intel are just trying to find a loophole and are about to get burned.
I dont think it is, the licence is more specific than just x86 chipsets. They clearly agreed to chipsets of a specific design, ie with memory controller integrated into the northbridge.

I can see why Nvidia are pissed though, they probably assumed that type of chipset would be around for years.

Its Nvidias own stupid fault for agreeing to it, dont they have contract lawyers that should be aware of the fine print.
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#12
buggalugs
And stuff Nvidia, they have been more tightass with their patents than anyone, and charge twice as much.
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#13
Bjorn_Of_Iceland
Better score em SLI capable intel chipped boards yo.. they may be our last :D XD
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#14
Marineborn
now days everything is going after everone else because there butthurt, they dont want other to make money
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#15
ThorAxe
by: buggalugs
I dont think it is, the licence is more specific than just x86 chipsets. They clearly agreed to chipsets of a specific design, ie with memory controller integrated into the northbridge.

I can see why Nvidia are pissed though, they probably assumed that type of chipset would be around for years.

Its Nvidias own stupid fault for agreeing to it, dont they have contract lawyers that should be aware of the fine print.
I disagree. There is nothing in the contract (at least in the public complaint) stating that the design must have northbridge and a southbridge. Intel are making their own exclusions to the license but none are acutally stated. In fact they use language like "traditonal chipsets" which in itself is wide open to interpretation.
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#16
Haytch
The one's that will lose most will be the end consumer regardless of which way the Judge votes.

Hmmm Nvidia, $10.46 @ close with shareholders feeling confident, investing into Nvidia due to this ? Or is it the Via buy-in ? On the otherhand, Intel shareholders do not seem as confident.

I cant seem to find the original agreement so i can say whom i think is in the right or wrong, and i would love to have a read thru it. If anyone has a link, i would much appreciate it. I find this and the current AMD/Global Founries Vs Intel x86 licence cases very relevant to the next 10 years.
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#17
FordGT90Concept
"I go fast!1!11!1!"
by: cdawall
nv should win this the chipset design changing should make no difference in this. Intel needs to stop pulling this crap. this is why when SLi didn't work on X58 NV didn't fix it if intel would just stop being a group of money-hogging assholes they wouldn't have a bunch of suits filed against them now
NVIDIA is in danger of SLI completely dying because of this. AMDs chipsets are by far the most popular for new AMD systems and Intel are by far the most popular for Intel systems. This lawsuit may end up having NVIDIA barred from making chipsets for any Core i# platform. Thusly, NVIDIA is left with making nForce chips for AMD platforms where they have a rapidly shrinking chunk of the pie.


by: ThorAxe
In fact they use language like "traditonal chipsets" which in itself is wide open to interpretation.
A "traditional chipset" is one that includes two chips: north and south bridge where north has the memory controller (either a link to video card via AGP or PCI Express, integrated video adapter, or a link to an integrated video adapter) and the south has peripherals (PCI, audio, etc.). Thats the way chipsets have been laid out for decades (thereby considered "common knowledge") and is therefore, considered "traditional." It is somewhat redundant to go into details but, being that it is a contract, they should have.

by: Haytch
Hmmm Nvidia, $10.46 @ close with shareholders feeling confident, investing into Nvidia due to this ? Or is it the Via buy-in ? On the otherhand, Intel shareholders do not seem as confident.
Intel and NVIDIA are both on the same path for the past month (steady gains). General economic news has far greater impact on stocks than anything else right now.
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#18
ThorAxe
by: FordGT90Concept

A "traditional chipset" is one that includes two chips: north and south bridge where north has the memory controller (either a link to video card via AGP or PCI Express, integrated video adapter, or a link to an integrated video adapter) and the south has peripherals (PCI, audio, etc.). Thats the way chipsets have been laid out for decades (thereby considered "common knowledge") and is therefore, considered "traditional." It is somewhat redundant to go into details but, being that it is a contract, they should have.
I tend to agree with you on the definition of a traditional chipset, however AMD have been making CPUs with intergrated memory controllers for almost six years which dilutes the idea of what a traditional chipset is.
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#19
FordGT90Concept
"I go fast!1!11!1!"
AMD is AMD, Intel is Intel. AMD's definition of "chipset" is not the same as Intel's. What AMD thinks in this case is completely irrelevant.

Remember, AMD would have chased down NVIDIA and VIA on this matter too but they missed/ignored the opportunity. Intel has learned from AMD's mistake.

Personally, I think it silly for Intel to make a fight of this. It isn't like NVIDIA really has much market share on Intel chipsets anyway. But a contract is a contract I suppose. If Intel doesn't fight it, Intel risks the design becoming "public domain."
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#20
mtosev
haha....lol does nVidia have money to throw out of the window or?

in 2008 the failing GPUs took a byte into their profits. Looks like they still have lots of $$$$ for legal CRAP. :laugh:
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#21
CyberDruid
by: cdawall
nv should win this the chipset design changing should make no difference in this. Intel needs to stop pulling this crap. this is why when SLi didn't work on X58 NV didn't fix it if intel would just stop being a group of money-hogging assholes they wouldn't have a bunch of suits filed against them now
Am I missing something Here? At what point did SLI not work on X58?
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#22
cdawall
where the hell are my stars
by: CyberDruid
Am I missing something Here? At what point did SLI not work on X58?
it wont work in 3dmark2001 it just doesn't
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#23
ThorAxe
by: FordGT90Concept
AMD is AMD, Intel is Intel. AMD's definition of "chipset" is not the same as Intel's. What AMD thinks in this case is completely irrelevant.
What AMD thinks is not the issue here. The issue is what constitutes a "traditional chipset" not a traditional Intel chipset. Intel do not own the definition.
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#24
Hayder_Master
duum , no one can stop intel forces , they going after all
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#25
FordGT90Concept
"I go fast!1!11!1!"
by: ThorAxe
What AMD thinks is not the issue here. The issue is what constitutes a "traditional chipset" not a traditional Intel chipset. Intel do not own the definition.
They do. Intel 80286 (1982) was the first processor to feature a "chipset" (North and South Bridge). That didn't change until 2003 with the AMD Athlon64 FX-51. It didn't change for Intel until 2008 with the Intel Core i7 965. The "chipset" designed for the 80286 reigned supreme for over two decades. I think that could/should be considered "traditional."
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