Silicon Graphics has sued ATI Technologies, alleging the graphics chipmaker infringed a computer-graphics patent that ATI’s competitors have licensed. The patent, filed in 1998 and awarded in 2003, involves describing graphical elements with floating-point numerals to balance the range and precision of values that can be stored. Floating-point numbers include an exponential component that spans a wide range of numbers, but that range can come at the expense of the precision afforded by the main alternative, integer numerals.

Silicon Graphics has sued ATI Technologies, alleging the graphics chipmaker infringed a computer-graphics patent that ATI’s competitors have licensed. SGI argues that ATI’s Radeon graphics chips use technology in the patent, No. 6,650,327, and seeks unspecified damages. ATI spokesman Chris Evenden said the company is looking into the lawsuit details. “We’re not commenting until we’ve analyzed every aspect of it,” he said. The patent, filed in 1998 and awarded in 2003, involves describing graphical elements with floating-point numerals to balance the range and precision of values that can be stored. Floating-point numbers include an exponential component that spans a wide range of numbers, but that range can come at the expense of the precision afforded by the main alternative, integer numerals.