Friday, April 12th 2019

AMD Wins Back Three Graphics Patents from LG

AMD won back ownership of three graphics patents that had earlier been struck down on a complaint by LG Electronics. A U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit overruled a ruling of the Patent Trial and Appeal Board (PTAB) which observed that AMD subsidiary ATI Technologies ULC (now reorganized as RTG), has a claim to U.S. patents numbered 7,742,053, 6,897,871, and 7,327,369. The three patents deal with critical technology related to Unified Shaders.

The PTAB had earlier dismissed ATI's ownership of the patents on grounds that the IP claimed was "too obvious in light of prior art." A bench of three Judges in a unanimous decision ruled that ATI had "had conceived of their inventions before the prior art." Put simply, the court was satisfied that the technologies protected by these patents were invented by ATI before the "prior art," and were not "obvious next steps" to it.
Source: IP Watchdog
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27 Comments on AMD Wins Back Three Graphics Patents from LG

#2
Ferrum Master
LG is stinking more and more in almost every front they compete and if you have business with them it is a nightmare.

A fish rots from the head down.
Posted on Reply
#3
londiste
Can someone do a summary of what LG was complaining about?

Unified shaders are D3D10/SM4. Unified shaders is a strange thing to have a patent on - AMD did Xenos and Terascale, Nvidia had Tesla around the same time and if my memory serves right Intel, PowerVR, S3 as well as Adreno/Mali use unified shaders. Some or most of these were developed at around the same time.
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#4
R0H1T
Adreno was owned by ATI back then & probably(?) they also did unified shaders before anyone else.
Posted on Reply
#5
silentbogo
londiste, post: 4029254, member: 169790"
Can someone do a summary of what LG was complaining about?
Remember the litigation against LG, Visio, and Mediatek from back in 2017? That's an aftermath.
I guess LG appealed in PTAB and they ruled in their favor, while Federal Court came to the opposite conclusion.
The only few things I don't understand is:
1) [puts on this 2018 hat] I thought LG already settled with AMD
2) [puts on his 2017 hat] Why go after all of these companies, if the perpetrator is ARM holdings, who licensed graphics IP to all others.
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#6
R0H1T
Because Sammy, Huawei et al must be paying something to AMD, these 3 likely didn't?
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#8
FreedomEclipse
~Technological Technocrat~
R0H1T, post: 4029263, member: 131092"
Because Sammy, Huawei et al must be paying something to AMD, these 3 likely didn't?
Pretty much. It all fun and games till someone forgets to pay the piper.
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#9
Vya Domus
londiste, post: 4029254, member: 169790"
Can someone do a summary of what LG was complaining about?

Unified shaders are D3D10/SM4. Unified shaders is a strange thing to have a patent on - AMD did Xenos and Terascale, Nvidia had Tesla around the same time and if my memory serves right Intel, PowerVR, S3 as well as Adreno/Mali use unified shaders. Some or most of these were developed at around the same time.
'around the same time' doesn't mean anything for patents, all it matters is whether or not you were the first one to it. Is it retarded, sure, but those are the laws.
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#10
TheLostSwede
londiste, post: 4029264, member: 169790"
Thanks, the list of companies quickly gave good results to search:
AMD Files Patent Infringement Complaint Against LG, MediaTek, Sigma Designs, and Vizio (Anandtech)
Sigma is no more, as they were broken up and sold off in pieces.
https://www.sigmadesigns.com/
Sigma Designs is in the process of Liquidation and Distribution.

Sigma Designs (Nasdaq: SIGM) stock information can be found here.

Filings with the Securities and Exchange Commission can be fund here.



For information on the Sigma’s Z-Wave product family, please contact Silicon Labs or the Z-Wave Alliance.

For information on Sigma’s Home Connectivity business line, please contact Integrated Silicon Solutions (ISSI).

For information on Sigma’s SmartTV and Set-top Box business lines, please contact V-Silicon at (510) 897-0168.
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#11
FordGT90Concept
"I go fast!1!11!1!"
londiste, post: 4029254, member: 169790"
Can someone do a summary of what LG was complaining about?
Here's the original complain AMD launched at many companies (LG, Vizio, MediaTek, SDI):
http://www.itcblog.com/images/amdcomplaint.pdf

LG countersued saying they should be public domain, LG won. AMD appealed and the appellate court ruled the original complaint and patents are valid.
United States Patent No. 7,633,506 (“the ‘506 Patent”) is entitled “Parallel pipeline graphics system” and issued on December 15, 2009 to inventors Mark-M. Leather and Eric Demers.
Prior to the ‘506 Patent, efforts were made to improve the realism of 3-D
graphics by generating and storingia greater amount of data that describes the
This image data was stored in a device known as a frame buffer. In order to store a greater
amount of data in the frame buffer, the industry believed that it was necessary to make the size of
the frame buffer larger. However, the GPU architectures known at the time of the ‘506 Patent
behaved as a bottleneck, and were unsuitable for rendering vast amounts of graphics data to a
larger size frame buffer.

The ‘506 Patent solved the bottleneck problem by disclosing a new
graphics processing architecture, which enables a greater amount of graphics data to be rendered
to a larger size frame buffer. In some embodiments, the graphics processing architecture includes
multiple parallel graphics “pipelines.” Moreover, each pipeline can feature a special circuit that
is programmable to perform texture shading in addition to color shading operations. Based on
the innovations disclosed by the ‘506 Patent, modern graphics processors are able to deliver
higher-quality realism of three-dimensional graphics.
United States Patent No. 7,796,133 (“the ‘133 Patent”) is entitled “Unified shader,” and issued on September 14, 2010 to inventors Mark M. Leather and Eric Demers.
The ‘133 Patent relates to specialized “texture” processing circuitry that is
employed by GPUs. Texture processing is a technology that is used, for example, to allow a 2-D
image of a brick wall to be mapped to a 3-D wall object in a perspective-correct way as shown
below.

Because artists and game designers made heavy-use of textures, the
conventional wisdom in the graphics processing industry was to employ highly specialized and
dedicated “fixed-fimction” circuitry for applying textures to pixels, and separate fixed function
circuitry for color shading. The disadvantage of this approach is that it constrained the generality,
flexibility, and overall usefulness of shading algorithms.

The ‘133 Patent departs from this conventional approach and instead
provides a specialized circuit that is capable of performing both texture and color operations.
This novel circuit architecture employs a combination of fixed-function and programmable
circuitry stages for texture and color operations. Advantageously, in some embodiments, any
operation, be it for color shading, or texture shading, may loop back and be combined with any
other operation. As a result, the ‘133 Patent simplifies the complexity of programming for two
separate conventional fixed-function circuits with different levels of precision. In addition, the
‘133 Patent provides improved utilization of graphics circuitry, which enables system
manufacturers to build more power efficient graphics circuitry.
United States Patent No. 8,760,454 (“the ‘454 Patent”) is entitled “Graphics processing architecture employing a unified shader,” and issued on June 24, 2014 to inventors Stephen L. Morein, Laurent Lefebvre, Andrew E. Gruber, and Andi Skende.
Prior to the ‘454 Patent, and the advent of GPUs more generally, the
industry employed general-purpose processors to render 3-D computer graphics in software. But
general purpose processors handled graphics processing operations in an inefficient way, leading
to poor performance.

As a result, the industry progressed away from general purpose processors
to GPU circuitry that was specialized for graphics processing. To improve upon the
inefficiencies of general purpose processors, the universal belief was that these GPUs needed
separate, discrete, and dedicated circuitry stages, with each circuitry stage performing different
graphics processing operations. For example, one dedicated circuitry stage would perform
geometry processing (concerning the triangles representing a 3-D object), and another would
perform pixel processing (concerning the pixels making up the 2-D representation of that 3-D
object). These different circuitry stages were organized in a sequential, pipelined fashion to form
a GPU having a “fixed-function” architecture.

While fixed-fimction architecture GPUs showed promising performance
gains over the general purpose processor approach, they were relatively large in size, with much
of the real estate being taken up by the geometry and pixel processing hardware. In addition, as a
result of the serialized architecture, the geometry processor operated on the 3-D geometrical
triangle data before the pixel processor could operate on pixel data, which resulted in a
performance penalty.

The ‘454 Patent solved these problems by disclosing a novel “unified
shader” hardware architecture. In a break from the fixed-function architecture, the unified shader
hardware architecture includes a shared processing unit that can handle both geometry and pixel
processing operations, while leaving certain other graphics operations to dedicated, fixed
function circuitry. In some embodiments, the unified shader hardware can operate on vertex and
pixel data simultaneously. Despite initial skepticism, the graphics processing industry has
embraced AMD’s groundbreaking unified shader architecture. By employing the patented
unified shader hardware architecture, graphics processors are smaller and more power efficient.
As a result, the ‘454 Patent enables smaller form factor consumer products that are more power
efficient.
United States Patent Application No. 14/614,967 (“the ‘967 Application”) is entitled “Graphics processing architecture employing a unified shader,” and was filed on February 5, 2015. The ‘967 Application was allowed on January 12, 2017, and is anticipated to issue in the near fiiture to inventors Stephen L. Morein, Laurent Lefebvre, Andrew E. Gruber, and Andi Skende.
Prior to the ‘967 Application, and the advent of GPUs more generally, the
industry employed general-purpose processors to render 3-D computer graphics in software. But
general purpose processors handled graphics processing operations in an inefficient way, leading
to poor performance.

As a result, the industry progressed away from general purpose processors
to GPU circuitry that was specialized for graphics processing. To improve upon the
inefficiencies of general purpose processors, the universal belief was that these GPUs needed
separate, discrete, and dedicated circuitry stages, with each circuitry stage performing different
graphics processing operations. For example, one dedicated circuitry stage would perform
geometry processing (concerning the triangles representing a 3-D object), and another would
perform pixel processing (concerning the pixels making up the 2-D representation of that 3-D
object). These different circuitry stages were organized in a sequential, pipelined fashion to form
a GPU having a “fixed-function” architecture.

While fixed-function architecture GPUs showed promising performance
gains over the general purpose processor approach, they were relatively large in size, with much
of the real estate being taken up by the geometry and pixel processing hardware. In addition, as a
result of the serialized architecture, the geometry processor operated on the 3-D geometrical
triangle data before the pixel processor could operate on pixel data, which resulted in a
performance penalty.

The ‘967Application solved these problems by disclosing a novel “unified
shader” hardware architecture. In a break from the fixed-function architecture, the unified shader
hardware architecture includes a shared processing unit that can handle both geometry and pixel
processing operations, while leaving certain other graphics operations to dedicated, fixed
function circuitry. In some embodiments, the unified shader hardware can operate on vertex and
pixel data simultaneously. Despite initial skepticism, the graphics processing industry has
embraced AM1)’s groundbreaking unified shader architecture. By employing the patented
unified shader hardware architecture, graphics processors are smaller and more power efficient.
As a result, the ‘967 Application enables smaller form factor consumer products that are more
power efficient.
TL;DR: AMD owns the "unified shader" concept. LG, Vizio, MediaTek, and SDI failed to pay license to it.

R0H1T, post: 4029263, member: 131092"
Because Sammy, Huawei et al must be paying something to AMD, these 3 likely didn't?
Samsung was named in the complaint as paying license fees.


I just realized that LG counter-sued alleging older patents are void rather than the four named above:
7,742,053 Multi-thread graphics processing system
6,897,871 Graphics processing architecture employing a unified shader - this dates back to 2003. The '967 application is clearly a renewal of this one.
7,327,369 Graphics processing architecture employing a unified shader - also dates back to 2003. Despite being titled the same, they are not.
Posted on Reply
#12
Dave65
Ferrum Master, post: 4029252, member: 90058"
LG is stinking more and more in almost every front they compete and if you have business with them it is a nightmare.

A fish rots from the head down.
LG use to be great. but now they have zero customer support. Sad really!
Posted on Reply
#13
Ferrum Master
Dave65, post: 4029419, member: 82235"
LG use to be great. but now they have zero customer support. Sad really!
Exactly, they were fine. During the restructuring ie tightening the belt, they are getting brute, the decisions the HQ make are insane. Those are orders from the Korea to act like that, the middle man have no choice, they are reducing all additional costs including, support, warranty support - find any reason to not to do it.
Posted on Reply
#14
eidairaman1
The Exiled Airman
Ferrum Master, post: 4029252, member: 90058"
LG is stinking more and more in almost every front they compete and if you have business with them it is a nightmare.

A fish rots from the head down.
Their appliances suck

All I can say is Good, maybe a new arch will finally come out.
Posted on Reply
#15
Camm
eidairaman1, post: 4029700, member: 40556"
Their appliances suck

All I can say is Good, maybe a new arch will finally come out.
Their fridges are pretty good.
Posted on Reply
#16
eidairaman1
The Exiled Airman
Camm, post: 4030088, member: 110377"
Their fridges are pretty good.
Till it breaks.
Posted on Reply
#17
akamateau
The implications of this Intellectual Property win by AMD go far beyond this litigation.

You have to ask yourself why would the PATB try and vacate AMD's Patents? In my opinion they were approached by Intel.

Why did INtel poach so many AMD Radeon executives? WIth AMD IP removed from AMD Intel and Raja Khoduri would be able to copy Radeon GPU's.

This decision ends Intel's GPU prospect rather effectively. At least that is my opinion anyway.
Posted on Reply
#18
londiste
akamateau, post: 4030336, member: 186951"
The implications of this Intellectual Property win by AMD go far beyond this litigation.
You have to ask yourself why would the PATB try and vacate AMD's Patents? In my opinion they were approached by Intel.
Why did INtel poach so many AMD Radeon executives? WIth AMD IP removed from AMD Intel and Raja Khoduri would be able to copy Radeon GPU's.
This decision ends Intel's GPU prospect rather effectively. At least that is my opinion anyway.
Intel already has unified shader architecture as well as broad cross-licensing agreements with both AMD and Nvidia.
Posted on Reply
#19
Camm
eidairaman1, post: 4030109, member: 40556"
Till it breaks.
I have I think 11 years warranty on mine. First two years have been fine, and being honest, if its irretreviably broken at 12 years, so be it, $100 a year for a fridge isn't the end of the world.
Posted on Reply
#20
eidairaman1
The Exiled Airman
Camm, post: 4032037, member: 110377"
I have I think 11 years warranty on mine. First two years have been fine, and being honest, if its irretreviably broken at 12 years, so be it, $100 a year for a fridge isn't the end of the world.
I used to fix them, junk
Posted on Reply
#21
remixedcat
Dave65, post: 4029419, member: 82235"
LG use to be great. but now they have zero customer support. Sad really!
Busy paying Jlo to make creepy AF music vids featuring their phones. Eeep I wish I could unsee that vid. *heebeejeebies*

LG displays are not as good as Samsung's. My LG crapped out basically. It would randomly go blank (normal power light still on not standby light) for a couple secs and it progressively got to be like randomly go off for 5-10 minutes. I babied the thing as well and took good care of it. My samsung has been thru a lot more and still ticking. My new 2ndary is a dell E2013H is really nice and it was only 40USD (or My LG phone I had (G3 I think) barely lasted a month (battery was defective and display had some bleeding and touch was terrible). Gave it to mom to use for a trip to Poland or somethin to use for recording videos as a backup. She can keep the thing lol. Samsung phone was much better. My Nexus 6 is pretty good.
Posted on Reply
#22
FordGT90Concept
"I go fast!1!11!1!"
akamateau, post: 4030336, member: 186951"
This decision ends Intel's GPU prospect rather effectively. At least that is my opinion anyway.
It means Intel has to pay licensing fees.
Posted on Reply
#23
akamateau
londiste, post: 4030554, member: 169790"
Intel already has unified shader architecture as well as broad cross-licensing agreements with both AMD and Nvidia.
Intel does not manufacture Monitors or TV's. Just because Intel has a licensing agreement in place does not mean that ALL IP is licensed. Intel has cross license with AMD regarding x86-64 micro-architecture. They do not have GPU or graphics cross licensing in place. Why should they?
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#24
londiste
akamateau, post: 4083075, member: 186951"
Intel does not manufacture Monitors or TV's. Just because Intel has a licensing agreement in place does not mean that ALL IP is licensed. Intel has cross license with AMD regarding x86-64 micro-architecture. They do not have GPU or graphics cross licensing in place. Why should they?
Intel has a lot more cross-licensing agreements than just x86-64. They have cross-licensing agreements with Nvidia, ATi and AMD for GPU-related technologies. If nothing else - Intel currently has a unified shader architecture and has had it for a long while. What do you think Intel's iGPUs are running on?
Posted on Reply
#25
FordGT90Concept
"I go fast!1!11!1!"
Yeah, Intel has a unified shader architecture but I'm not sure who they are paying licenses to for it. You can't make a GPU these days without paying AMD, NVIDIA, or both.
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