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February 24, 2009

Intel files suit against Nvidia

Alleges that their licensing agreement does not extend to Intel's future generation models

By CBR Staff Writer

Chip giant Intel has filed a lawsuit against Nvidia in the Delaware Chancery Court in an effort to prevent the graphics chipmaker from developing and selling motherboard chipsets that support Intel’s Nehalem class of desktop processors.

In its suit, the company has alleged that the four-year old chipset cross licensing agreement between the two companies does not extend to Intel’s future generation models that add a feature called a memory controller. As part of the agreement, Intel received licenses to Nvidia’s 3D, GPU, and other computing patent portfolio.

Intel launched the first chips with its next-generation Nehalem product in November. Future Intel laptop and desktop processors are expected to include integrated memory controllers. Nvidia stated that it has been trying to resolve the dispute with Intel for over a year.

Jen-Hsun Huang, president and chief executive at Nvidia, said: We are confident that our license, as negotiated, applies. 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.

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