In the IT industry during slow economy the only people making money for some reason are the lawyers.
Hot on the heels of Intel’s lawsuit over future Intel CPUs and the current cross patent sharing come nVidia’s countersuit trying to pull Intel License to nVidia GPU patents.
In typical kids in the sand box fashion both sides blame the other for starting it. Intel wants to renegotiate the licenses based on the new CPU design with Integrated Memory Controllers and nVidia says it already has rights to that.
Of course through it all Jen-Hsun Huang, President and CEO of nVidia, has made several scathing comments about Intel. Including one that stated the law suit brought by Intel was an attempt to save the dying CPU market. “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” Said Huang in response to the Intel suit.
Intel has maintained that this is nothing more than an attempt to protects its intellectual property and that they are not suing nVidia. Intel PR has even said it would be willing to renegotiate the agreement with nVidia.
nVidia for their part has decided that it will not be bullied, Huang claims that the agreement was broad in scope and allows for future development. Either way they have brought out their own legal guns and have fired back with a suit to deny Intel access to the nVidia patents they are currently enjoying.
We asked Robert Sherbin at nVidia if this suit would also cover the recently agreed upon addition of SLI to Intel X58 chipsets and how this will affect partner adoption of ION, but as of this writing have not received a response.
One thing left unknown, out of many, over all of this will be the impact on partners and their acceptance of the ION platform. After all Intel can make an OEM’s life pretty rough and with the new counter suit we could see the adoption of the ION platform slow up and even stop until this is all settled. The next question would be if nVidia has any plans at all for a Nehalem chipset. If they do this could be seen as a major issue if not it will again all boil down to Atom, or more to the point future generations of Atom with Integrated memory controllers. If Intel’s suit holds water, nVidia could find themselves out in the cold once the FSB [front side bus] is gone from Atom.
You can read Intel’s filing in PDF form which is being hosted by nVidia
You can read nVidia’s filing and counterclaim in PDF form which is being hosted by nVidia
nVidia’s Press Release can be viewed on nVidia’s website