Last Monday, Intel filed a lawsuit against Nvidia, which apparently stated that the chipset license agreement the two companies signed four years ago does not extend to Intel’s future generation CPUs with integrated memory controllers. While Nvidia responded with a statement and official press release last week week, CEO Jen-Hsun Huang spoke to Digitimes about the suit and explained why he thinks the suit is groundless.
The original agreement (made in 2004) allowed Nvidia to produce chipsets for Intel CPUs without integrated memory controllers. At the time however, Intel did not have any integrated memory controllers in its plans and so no stipulation was in place to forbid Nvidia from making chipsets for CPUs with memory controllers. Nvidia responded to the court filing with a release stating that “we are confident that our license, as negotiated, applies," and that "Nvidia has been attempting to resolve the disagreement with Intel in a fair and reasonable manner for over a year."
"The disagreement is over the fact that they (Intel) don't believe we have the right to design chipsets for CPUs with integrated memory controllers, which we do," said Huang. "Nvidia entered into an agreement in 2004 in order to bring platform innovations to Intel CPU based systems, and in return, Intel took a license to our rich portfolio of 3D, GPU, and other computing patents."
Huang told Digitimes that the agreement was Huang revealed that the agreement made with Intel is "broad" and does not go as far as to name specific technologies. He also said that the trigger Intel's "hostile action" seems to be the announcement of Nvidia's Ion platform.
Huang assured Digitimes that he is confident that the courts would find that the agreement does give Nvidia rights to produce chipsets that support Intel CPUs with integrated memory controllers and added that the company is not afraid of Intel and will not be backing down.
This case is about the future and Nvidia's ability to continue to innovate and make a difference in the industry by creating its own products, not just those that Intel allows it to create, Digitimes quotes Huang as saying.