Intel takes Nvidia to court over chipset dispute

Claims agreement does not extend to Intel’s next-generation Nehalem products

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By  Vineetha Menon Published  February 19, 2009

Intel has filed a suit against Nvidia over claims that the chipset license agreement both parties are involved in does not extend to Intel’s future generation CPUs with integrated memory controllers, such as the highly-publicised Nehalem.

Nvidia’s CEO in turn fired off a response to say that Intel’s decision is not surprising as its own recent innovations like ION and CUDA “threaten Intel’s ability to control the PC platform.”

Intel and Nvidia entered into the agreement in 2004 to bring platform innovations to Intel CPU-based systems. Intel in turn took a licence for Nvidia’s portfolio of 3D, GPU and other computing patents.

“We are confident that our license, as negotiated, applies,” said Jen-Hsun Huang, president and CEO of Nvidia. “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.”

Intel spokesman Chuck Mulloy said Intel and Nvidia have been trying to resolve this "dispute" for "well over a year" and filed the suit to seek a declaratory judgment, "asking the court to resolve the dispute about what rights they have."

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