Intel and Nvidia take licensing kerfuffle to court
Huang claims PC's soul
A continuing dispute between Intel and Nvidia over the scope of a 2004 cross-licensing pact has, rather unsurprisingly, made its way to court.
Chipzilla filed a motion in Delaware court on Monday asking for a judge to bar Nvidia from making chipsets compatible with Intel's Nehalem-based processors.
Nehalem introduces an integrated memory controller and a new bus technology called QuickPath Interconnect (QPI). If Nvidia wants its nForce motherboards to support Nehalem chips, it needs to license QPI technology.
The graphics chip maker claims it already has the right to make Nehalem-compatible boards through a four-and-a-half year old cross licensing deal with Intel.
Intel claims the agreement doesn't cover new bus technologies, while Nvidia claims the agreement doesn't limit the licensing to specific products.
The court action prompted Nvidia's outspoken CEO Jen-Hsun Huang to send out a response today, declaring the company was confident the licensing agreement covers their ass. And of course, since this is a Huang statement, it's also 65 per cent rant:
"We are confident that our license, as negotiated, applies," Huang said in the statement. "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."
Definitely sounds like the companies are becoming increasingly bitter as the dispute goes on. ®
"So exactly why should an interface that Intel created to tie their CPUs to their chipsets be public domain?"
Well, to prevent companies such as Intel from tying their CPUs to their chipsets!
Imagine if Philips radios only worked with Philips batteries, or Vauxhall cars only ran on Vauxhall-branded fuel or could only be driven on Vauxhall-approved roads. Companies would get lazy and fail to innovate, preferring instead to rely on the protected revenue stream which exists wherever consumers lack the option to do business with a competitor instead. (A radio represents a non-trivial outlay, so escaping from the Philips lock-in by buying a different brand of set may not always be an option. The ex-Philips owner might well recoup the cost of a receiver which accepts generic batteries *over the long term*, but they need a radio and batteries *right now*.) "Creative" pricing and advertising would ensure an artificially high barrier to entry, and the market would soon stagnate.
If vendors want to be allowed to dictate their own prices and not be told by the Government how much they can sell their wares for, then they should accept that other people can sell interchangeable alternatives to their products.
So exactly why should an interface that Intel created to tie their CPUs to their chipsets be public domain? Just because you think it should be???
It has been a LONG time since CPU interfaces where standardized across multiple vendors (aka: socket compatible).
This wasn't created as an open interface for the industry (like PCI or PCI Express), but was created as a closed interface between their CPUs and their chipsets. If you want to use that interface, then you have to license it.
Whether the existing license covers this new interface will be determined by the courts.
For fuck's sake
It's a fucking connection standard. That sort of thing ought to be so beyond the scope of patentability it can see the curvature of the Earth.
What we need is for a few judges in cases like this simply to annul any disputed patents and charge both sides costs.
Yup, pretty much all you say is spot on. It's innovation for Intel, not the industry as a whole. The difference , of course, is that Intel's execution has been in general much better than AMD's. They're much better at making tradeoffs that work, even if on paper the competing solution should be technically superior.
Sticking PhysX on CUDA wasn't innovative, but was an excellent business decision. It was inevitable hardware physics would be implemented on graphics hardware - Nvidia and AMD had themselves been saying things in that direction for months/years.
At a time when Nvidia was being spanked by AMD(ATI) PhysX kept them in the game. Now the performance at the high end is pretty much equivalent and AMD possibly win in the ever changing middle ground PhsyX introduces enough uncertainty for some people to choose Nvidia over AMD.. The question is what AMD will do about this; if enough A list titles are suitably enhanced by physics they'll be forced to officially support PhysX
Did I miss something or did AMD have the controlLer first as well as the so called quick path.
Shouldn't amd have some say as to whether Intel can use either controller or Hypertransport er quick path
What happens when u have a monopoly
"ALL WAYS ARE INTEL'S WAYS!"