NVIDIA has responded to a court filing on Monday in which Intel alleged that the 4-year-old chipset license agreement between the two companies does not extend to Intel’s future generation CPU architectures with “integrated” memory controllers, such as Nehalem.

Nvidia’s CEO Jen-Hsun Huang reiterated that they are confident that the license, as negotiated, applies and that this is clearly an “attempt to stifle innovation to protect a decaying CPU business”.

Hit the full story button for Nvidia’s press release.

 

Update (19th Feb): The News has managed to scan a copy of the court filing.

Update 2 (19th Feb): This is starting to look like a reenactment of the saga between Intel and VIA back in 2001, when Intel tried to block VIA from using the Pentium 4 FSB on its chipsets. As a result of that lawsuit, many board makers became reluctant to make motherboards based on VIA chipsets, afraid of getting involved in the lawsuit.

This made us wonder if the same thing was going to happen again. Most motherboard manufacturers have replied that they are awaiting further instructions from both sides. One manufacturer cited poor support from Nvidia as a reason for such a potential action.

NVIDIA has responded to a court filing on Monday in which Intel
alleged that the 4-year-old chipset license agreement between the two
companies does not extend to Intel’s future generation CPU
architectures with “integrated” memory controllers, such as Nehalem.

Nvidia’s CEO Jen-Hsun Huang reiterated that they are confident
that the license, as negotiated, applies and that this is clearly an
“attempt to stifle innovation to protect a decaying CPU business”.

Nvidia Press Release :

SANTA CLARA, CA. – FEBRUARY 18, 2009 – NVIDIA Corporation today responded to a Monday court filing (Court of Chancery in the State of Delaware) in which Intel alleged that the four-year-old chipset license agreement the companies signed does not extend to Intel’s future generation CPUs with “integrated” memory controllers, such as Nehalem. The filing does not impact NVIDIA chipsets that are currently being shipped.

“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.”

NVIDIA entered into the agreement in 2004 in order 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.

Since signing the agreement, NVIDIA has offered innovations such as SLI®, Hybrid power, and CUDA™ parallel processing. ION™, the most recent innovation, integrates a powerful NVIDIA GPU, north bridge and south bridge into one compact die. When combined with a CPU, ION enables a two-chip PC architecture for Intel processors two years ahead of Intel’s own solution. In addition, the ION platform offers 10x the performance of Intel’s current three chip design.1

The industry and consumers now count on innovations from NVIDIA. Microsoft recently endorsed ION because it offers consumers the first truly affordable premium Windows experience. Late last year Apple selected NVIDIA’s chipset for its entire new line of notebooks including the MacBook Classic, MacBook Air, MacBook and MacBook Pro. Today, companies like Acer, Alienware, Asus, Dell, Falcon Northwest, Fujitsu, Gigabyte, HP, Lenovo, MSI, NEC, and Toshiba all ship exciting innovations created by NVIDIA as a result of its agreement with Intel.

Huang said that, given the broad and growing adoption of NVIDIA’s platform innovations, it is not surprising that Intel is now initiating a dispute over a contract signed four years ago. Innovations like ION, SLI, Hybrid power, and CUDA threaten Intel’s ability to control the PC platform.

NVIDIA has been attempting to resolve the disagreement with Intel in a fair and reasonable manner for over a year. NVIDIA’s chipsets for Intel’s current CPU bus interface are not affected by the dispute.

Update (19th Feb): The News has managed to scan a copy of the court filing.

Update 2 (19th Feb): This is starting to look like a reenactment of the saga between
Intel and VIA back in 2001, when Intel tried to block VIA from using
the Pentium 4 FSB on its chipsets. As a result of that lawsuit, many
board makers became reluctant to make motherboards based on VIA
chipsets, afraid of getting involved in the lawsuit.

This made us wonder if the same thing was going to happen again.
Most motherboard manufacturers have replied that they are awaiting
further instructions from both sides. One manufacturer cited poor
support from Nvidia as a reason for such a potential action.