NVIDIA respond to Intel chipset court filing

Earlier today, NVIDIA responded to a court filing by Intel, regarding a chipset license agreement. The agreement, made 4 years ago, was that NVIDIA would be able to use its chipsets with Intel based motherboards. In exchange for this, NVIDIA would provide Intel with graphics "innovations" such as SLI and Hybrid Power. Now, with the Core i7 range out (which feature integrated memory controllers) and details out on the future Westmere processors (which integrate more features, in particular, the graphics controller), Intel has claimed that the existing agreement no longer applies.

NVIDIA has argued that the agreement is more about the end of CPU lifecycle, as opposed to Intel's argument that because their new processors feature integrated controllers, the deal is off. Jen-Hsun Huang, CEO of NVIDIA said "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 also boasted that its ION platform is 10 times faster than Intel's GMA 945, and also gave a gentle reminder that Apple used NVIDIA's chipset in its entire range of notebooks last year, which could create some difficulties for Apple should the agreement fall apart.

Both companies have something to lose, but the question is: which one will lose the most? Intel could effectively prevent NVIDIA producing any chipsets for their Nehalem based processor range (although, regardless of what happens, the decision won't affect systems using Intel's current bus interface). However, NVIDIA's ION platform has better performance and uses less physical space than Intel's equivalent, and they also provide numerous technologies which one can only assume Intel has created alternatives for.

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16 Comments

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This is when AMD + ATi's merge starts to shine. :0 It appears they might've done the right thing in merging ahead of time, haha.

They don't have to muddle through the same mess nvidia and Intel's going thru.
:X

the end? true!

i mean that something that ati/amd is crowling through.

finally amd got his headshot; so its just a question about time when ati will receive the golden bullet too!

OH wow, like no other chipset never had any issue. I've got my hand on a asus mobo with Intel chipset and it's the third time I send it back in a year because of problem. Got 4 other nvidia, no problem on all of them. Got 1 VIA, work great (for internet/word/mail). Have some intel at job, some of them work, others don't. Not everything is in the chipset, drivers are for something too, bios, firmware, motherboard all over it, integration of other component. I've been on nvidia for the last 5 years and no problem. I've seen some other broke, it's like hard drive. Some will say that maxtor sucks, other that it's seagate, wd or other hard disk. Though, I've got nearly all kind of hard drive and at least 1 of each branch have jumped. Stop saying that something isn't good for 1-2 bad experience, check at large. Yes, I know that some specific mobo had problem with chipset x, but that chipset is on many more board that work flawlessly...

Well if nVidia are out of the motherboard chipset race, maybe thats no loss with all the bugs i've heard/read/seen in the last few platforms. I nearly bought one myself too!

Yeah, and unfortunately NVIDIA is quiet dependant on Intel in some respects (although some could argue that they should have seen this coming).

Personally, I think NVIDIA will end up worse off, espacially when you consider that they've been desperately trying to resolve this issue out of court for the last year (check the press release for evidence). And besides, claiming that Intel is protecting a "decaying CPU business" is hardly the way to make things better.

Either way, I think that was a pretty crafty move by Intel, and I think worse of them for it, especially if the agreement does indeed fall apart.

nvidia did appeal to intels latest QPI license agreements back in summer 2008 and since then nothing was official said about it. but now out of the sudden intel sues them (the true reason is still obscure to me) and all what huang did was a press report. i really fail to see WHY this is a smart move by intel, unless u r from america and think monopoly is just a game...go figure!